The 27th SOMDG introduces specialty medical care with the Circuit Rider Program Published Jan. 19, 2024 By Air Force Senior Airman Mateo Parra 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M.-- The 27th Special Operations Medical Group is addressing limited medical specialty care by bringing certified medical specialists to Cannon Air Force Base with the Circuit Rider Program. Utilizing out-of-state military specialists traveling from multiple locations, Cannon’s service members and families can consult their primary care manager to inquire if the Circuit Rider specialist would be a good option for their medical needs. “The 27th SOMDG’s goal is to establish specialty medical care for patients who are not already established through another provider,” said Capt. Ashley Daniels, 27th SOMDG TRICARE Operations and Patient Administration flight commander. “All of our Air Commandos and their families enrolled in TRICARE prime can take advantage of this program by beginning the referral process through their primary care manager." Current specialties that will be offered include psychiatric care for children and adolescents, developmental pediatrics, and endocrinology, with plans to add more later. “Air Force Specialist providers will begin to arrive based on availability and rotate on demand,” said Daniels. “This will allow patients to be seen either in person, or via a telehealth appointment, on a quarterly basis.” The Circuit Rider program kicked off in October with a developmental pediatrician who saw 12 patients and plans to return in February. Additionally, Cannon hosted a child psychiatrist in December, and who plans to return in February. An endocrinology specialist is expected to rotate though at the end of January and is projected to see 32 patients. The Circuit Rider program was a proposed solution during the medical support summit held at Cannon AFB in September of 2023. The summit was held to identify barriers and facilitate solutions to improve healthcare for the 27th Special Operations Wing personnel and families. Of the challenges and concerns for healthcare that were addressed, the Circuit Rider program will specifically accelerate the access to care for some specialty providers. “The 27th SOMDG supports the health and readiness needs of a high-tempo mission and military community in a rural area, but our limited in-house specialty care requires we refer our patients off-base, often outside the local area,” said Col. Danielle Cermak, 27th SOMDG commander. Medical specialty care at Cannon AFB is typical for a rural community, meaning families travel more than 100 miles for consultations and treatments. “Having the Circuit Rider program at the 27th SOMDG will lessen the need for travel and will directly alleviate shortfalls in our in-house specialty care,” said Cermak. “Programs like this are just one way we are working to provide for the needs of our patients, and we will continue to create solutions to fulfill their needs here at Cannon.” The 27th SOMDG is continuing to work towards adding additional specialists to the Circuit Rider program by pursuing various options to bring dermatology, neurology, and audiology to the SOMDG. If you have questions about the Circuit Rider program, contact your primary care manager through the appointment line at 575-784-2278.