Dr. Terry Hashey answers the call for medical and military service | People

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Dr. Terry Hashey answers the call for medical and military service
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Dr. Terry Hashey answers the call for medical and military service

Local family physician puts his life on the line to serve his country 

Dr. Terry Hashey, DO, MHSE, FAAFP, Family Physician Medical Director of First Coast Family Medicine in Jacksonville, FL, is answering the call for medical and military service as a member of the Florida National Guard. Twice deployed to the Middle East, Hashey’s mission is to help military service men and women come home to their families healthy and safe.

“I was mobilized with the National Guard for two, three-month deployments first to Afghanistan in 2006, and next to Kuwait in 2009,” said Dr. Hashey. “During the Afghanistan deployment, I was the Task Force Flight Surgeon for Aviation Task Force Talon. And in Kuwait, I served as Battalion Flight Surgeon for Aviation Task Force Kuwait.”

While on deployment, Hashey’s first goal was serving as primary care physician for the air crew and his second was serving as medical director of the Air Ambulance Company (MedEvac). In Afghanistan, his battalion was co-located with the Combat Support Hospital where Dr. Hashey worked with trauma patients treating five or six patients a day. The invaluable training he received during that experience was soon put to the test when a suicide bombing devastated an area in downtown Khost on September 11, 2006.

“I was left doing triage and caring for the wounded in a makeshift emergency room, the ward and ICU because both surgeons were operating,” he said. “The Combat Support Hospital was actually six tents that were connected together and adjoined to a trailer where the surgery was performed.”

Although intensely stressful, difficult and dangerous conditions make going overseas to a combat zone treacherous, Dr. Hashey says that it’s an amazing opportunity to serve his country and receive training that he wouldn’t get anywhere else.

“Serving as a military physician ultimately provides the opportunity to help a hero come home to his or her family. I truly enjoy the liberties that are afforded to me as an American citizen and the price you pay for these liberties are to take arms and defend your country,” he said.

While overseas, his battalion provided free medical care for the local citizens in various locations like schools on missions known as Medical Civil Affairs Projects or MedCAPS. Armed and outfitted in body armor, Dr. Hashey and his Task Force traveled in armored convoys to remote locations under the threat of violence. In Afghanistan, his base received indirect rocket fire and was hit a number of times. His helicopter was also under fire.

 “Going overseas to a combat zone can be dangerous and hard but it’s also hard for those at home,” said Dr. Hashey. “I give credit to my wife Natalie who took charge of my practice while I was gone as well as taking care of our children:  Zachary, 9, Gregory, 8, and Kyra, 3 and a half. Natalie also works as a veterinarian. Being alone, raising a family and running a business was hard for her and our children. Think of the servicemen and women who go away overseas into danger for over a year during each deployment. It’s very tough on everyone in the family.”

Mrs. Hashey now works for a private veterinary practice and for the Army as a civilian contract veterinarian taking care of military working dogs (MWDs).

Senior Aviation Medical Officer Colonel Shepherd B. Stone served with Dr. Hashey in Kuwait. “As the flight surgeon assigned to my unit, I found Terry to be very energetic, innovative and always looking for new ways to improve things. His background as a primary care physician really facilitated our delivery of care. Wherever there are American servicemen and women, they need to have medical care and they work in many difficult and varied environments.”

Dr. Hashey received his specialty training at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville in the Family Medicine Department. He completed medical school at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, and trained as a Health Educator, receiving his Master's Degree in Health Science Education (MHSE) from the University of Florida. He also earned his Certification as a Health Education Specialist (CHES).

His military service includes eight years in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve followed by four years in the Texas Army National Guard. After that he served three years in the U.S. Army Reserve. He’s now in the Florida National Guard and is assigned as the Flight Surgeon for the 1-111th Aviation Regiment. Dr. Hashey has completed the Army Flight Surgeon Primary Course and Combat Casualty Care Course. He is active in organized medicine, serving as the Young Physician Member of the Duval County Medical Society Board of Directors and the Florida Young Physician Representative to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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