Partnerships continue to bring base, community together Published Jan. 29, 2016 By Jenny Gordon Robins Public Affairs ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Since Robins began participating in the Air Force Community Partnership Program, the base has continued to explore ways to partner with organizations that share the same interests. The program was created to explore cost-saving opportunities through partnerships and shared services between bases and local communities and private entities. Three years have passed since Robins became part of the program. A group of base leaders and community representatives have continued to meet since then, discussing ways to leverage each other's capabilities and resources to achieve mutual value and benefit as part of public-public and public-private partnerships (P4). There are now more than 100 agreements in place, with services ranging from fire protection and law enforcement, to work study internships and youth recreation. At a meeting earlier this month, discussion turned to several items detailing current and priority initiatives. Among them were exploring engineering and technician training opportunities between the 78th Civil Engineer Group and city and county departments. The group also discussed ways to partner with Houston County regarding paving projects. Both are still in the early stages of discussion. Identifying training courses that would benefit all parties is ongoing. "The benefits for the training would be a cost savings by sharing the costs between us," said Becky McCoy, 78th Civil Engineering Squadron director. The Robins Aero Club - which established a partnership with the community in 2014 - is looking at ways to partner with local technical colleges and high school Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps programs. Goals are to achieve private pilot licenses as well as offer high school students a chance to earn college credits. Other items included: -Medical training for primary care Continuing Medical Education credits that can provide training cost reductions for 78th Medical Group personnel. This is ongoing as additional medical agencies must still be identified, along with coursework that can benefit all. As travel and education costs continue to rise and temporary duty and travel budgets decrease, there's discussion to collaborate with network partners to look at local and innovative ways to provide quality and meaningful education to primary care providers. In Georgia, physicians and physician assistants are required to obtain 40 hours; nurse practitioners, 30 hours, in a two-year licensure period. "At Robins, the 78th MDG is very fortunate to enjoy close ties to Houston Healthcare, NavicentHealth, Coliseum Health System, Dublin Veterans Administration and many other community health care partners. We're all excited to discuss the prospects of pooling our resources to provide hands-on, in-person training for our physicians, nurses and other primary care practitioners," said Col. Shari Silverman, 78th MDG commander. "The training requirement to keep our practitioners clinically current and competent is no different than the requirements for our pilots. The 78th MDG simply cannot afford to keep doing business as it always has, and this is one way that we see a beneficial solution for the base and community." Elsewhere in the 78th MDG, to further detail how partnerships are being implemented, to help reduce TDY travel, the 78th Dental Squadron held a dental conference in 2015 at the Museum of Aviation. That event allowed its dental professionals opportunities to receive continuing education hours. That's crucial as conferences like those help dentists keep their licenses current, as well as save on travel costs. According to Lt. Col. Rene Saenz, 78th DS commander, "The conference not only builds local civilian/military dental professional alliances, it also gives regional dental military professionals the ability to get continuing education credits for the cost of essentially gas." -Partnering with local golf courses can help bring increased revenue for all courses, including Pine Oaks Golf Course, as well as provide membership benefits, further strengthening community partnerships. By offering a reduced rate with reciprocal privileges to partnering courses - including International City Golf Course, Landings Golf Club in Warner Robins and Waterford Golf Club in Bonaire - relationships can be further strengthened. -Youth sports at Robins are looking at ways to participate alongside programs offered by Houston County recreation departments and the Central Georgia Soccer Association. Teams could be put together more efficiently with decreased costs to active duty members and youth can take advantage of programs not offered on base. P4 meetings are held quarterly in the community with the next scheduled for April 11 at Flint Energies in Warner Robins.