Flight surgeon leaves 174th, moves to southwest

  • Published
  • By Capt Greta Jackson
  • 174th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Lt. Col. (Dr.) LaLainia Secreti, flight surgeon at the 174th Medical Group, is leaving the Syracuse area to join her new husband and new unit in New Mexico.

Dr. Secreti was doing her required internship at Wilson Memorial in Johnson City, NY when she was recruited by personnel at Langley AFB, VA. After leaving Active Duty service in June 2001, she was just beginning her residency when the 9/11 attacks took place. She was subject to being recalled to Active Duty, but was granted a position at the 174th Medical Group in the Flight Medicine section.

She has deployed several times into the Area of Responsibility (AOR), the primary mission being to take care of the people. "We serve a dual role when we're deployed. The primary mission is trying to maintain the war fighter - to make sure the maintainers are healthy," Dr. Secreti said. "But we also have to work on the medical evacuations when necessary." Her main duty at home station is to perform and process examinations to ensure that personnel are fit for duty.

Outside the military, Dr. Secreti is an Assistant Professor and an Emergency Medicine Physician at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. Her practice of emergency medicine is where she honed a lot of the skills she needed while deployed to the war environment.

Because Dr. Secreti serves the military and civilian population, she can easily see how each area benefits the other. "I got my skills by working in emergency," she said, "but some of the procedures we developed in the field out of necessity became the protocols for civilian trauma units."

Dr. Secreti's work has garnered several awards, including the Governor Morris Award for Citizen/Soldier. The Morris Award is the most significant to her. "I felt this award represented the highest honor for what I do with my civilian and military career," she said. She received multiple awards because of the influences of people around her. "Chief Russell Youngs and MSgt Ronald Patrick had a lot of influence on me," Dr. Secreti said. "They both have molded me into the person I am today, taught me to take care of my airmen and to always have integrity."

Watching a member move on is not easy, especially when they contribute as much as Dr. Secreti has. Col. Greg Semmel, 174th Fighter Wing Commander said, "Dr. Secreti's professionalism and dedication to the 174th Fighter Wing and all the units of Hancock Field have been key to our mission success. Her selfless attitude and care for her military family have ensured our ability to maintain the wing's combat readiness and worldwide deployable status. She has been an invaluable member of the Hancock Field team, and will be greatly missed, but we wish her the very best in the next phase of her career."

Dr. Secreti is married to Major John Rensel, an MC-130H instructor pilot and Program Manager for qualification and courses at the Special Operations Schoolhouse at Kirtland AFB, NM. She will be joining the 150th Medical Group at Kirtland. In the civilian world, she will give up her professorship and work in a private hospital. "I will miss teaching residents. The 174th FW is the best Wing in the world. I am going to miss everyone terribly," Dr. Secreti said.