CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait –
As March, and Women’s month comes to a close, we approach April, and Month of the Military Child. The 3d Medical Command (Deployment Support), spotlights 3d MC(DS) Forward, deployed mother, Maj. Margaret Felix.
Maj. Felix is a civilian Pharmacist with UK Healthcare and 67E in the Army Reserve. Felix is deployed with the 3d MC(DS) FWD as the USCENTCOM Pharmacist, providing oversight and management of Pharmacy Operations across the USCENTOM area of responsibility for all military services.
Under more ordinary circumstances this is a critical position, but with the COVID pandemic, this position has become even more; impacting every Servicemember.
Supporting the vaccine is one of the biggest accomplishments for Felix. “Vaccine approval, and implementation, were considerations since the day we hit boots on ground,” said Maj. Margaret Felix. Adding, “We have been leading in the planning and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine administration for the entire theater, through Operation Med Spear. Providing life-saving vaccines during a pandemic, to an austere location and deployed service members, was an incredible team effort. We collaborated, worked through difficult problem sets, and innovated. It is events like these that remind me what Military Medicine is capable of, and it is truly inspiring.”
Operation Med Spear is a collective effort with 3D MED FWD, 228th CSH, USAMMC-SWA, ARCENT & CENTCOM. “As the Theater Pharmacy Consultant I was responsible for ensuring the 3D MED FWD and Command Surgeons of various entities, were informed with the most current data on vaccine dosing, administration, storage and adverse events. I also assisted in planning meetings for distribution, assessing how these data impacted possible distribution courses of action,” said, Felix.
This is a thorough undertaking for Felix, saying, “This is my first deployment, I had to quickly figure out how I fit into the greater picture and mission, and then how I can contribute to that mission.”
Along with managing the deployment there was managing the separation from her young child and husband. “My husband Carlos and I, have been together 8 years, and married almost 7. This will be our 3rd anniversary apart in service to the military. Our daughter Eva, turned 2 in March. She is stubborn, joyful, loves to dance with her Elmo, and build train tracks with her Thomas the Train set,” Felix said.
Felix is making the best of the situation for her and Eva. “I am very thankful for current technology. I can video call my husband and daughter frequently, which has really helped. I also write to my daughter in a journal I’m keeping for her. She is only a toddler, but I hope one day when she is able to read, she will read my deployment journal and learn about life, her Mommy, and how much I missed her and her Daddy during deployment,” she said.
For Felix, Family is not the only priority for her service. “I remind myself that at the end of the day, military medicine sustains and protects the Warfighter,” she said. Adding, “My civilian career as a Clinical Pharmacist, provides expertise and knowledge on clinical care and medication management. While this mission is different from daily rounding on patients on the hospital floor, it is still all about people: connecting with people and building relationships, to accomplish the mission and conserve the fighting strength,” she said.
Operation Med Spear highlights Felix focus and how Pharmacists are on the front lines of COVID-19 vaccine. “I am so humbled, and proud, to be part of a profession that is executing the herculean effort of mass vaccination,” Felix said.
Felix looks forward to reuniting with her daughter, saying, “She is very young and I am not sure she truly realizes I’m gone. Lately she has hit her true toddler tantrums, and is giving my husband a run for his money. Which he is handling brilliantly. We also have both sets of parents locally to help my husband, which is wonderful. My mother was a single parent when I was young, so it brings me joy that my daughter is surrounded by so many people that love her, especially while I am deployed.”