Air Station Sitka, Alaska, Petty Officer named 2014 Coast Guard Clinic Health Service Technician of the Year

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Mya Dejakanul, a health service technician at Air Station Sitka, Alaska, stands on the tarmac at Air Station Sitka March 3, 2015.  Dejakanul was named the Coast Guard Clinic Health Service Technician of the Year for her numerous contributions to the Coast Guard and the community of Sitka.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Grant Devuyst.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Mya Dejakanul, a health service technician at Air Station Sitka, Alaska, stands on the tarmac at Air Station Sitka March 3, 2015. Dejakanul was named the Coast Guard Clinic Health Service Technician of the Year for her numerous contributions to the Coast Guard and the community of Sitka. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Grant Devuyst.

It’s no secret that the U.S. Coast Guard is devoted to rescuing others from harm but, even within an organization filled with lifesavers, there are those who make the health and well-being of others their number one priority. Every year, the Coast Guard honors a select few members from among its health service technicians for outstanding performance and dedication. This year, the 17th District and Air Station Sitka, Alaska, are proud to say it can count the Coast Guard’s Clinic Health Services Technician of the Year for 2014 from among its own.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Mya Dejakanul reported to Air Station Sitka in June of 2012 and soon gained the trust of health care beneficiaries, medical providers, her fellow corpsmen, the community of Sitka and her command. As the unit’s Health Benefits Advisor and Outpatient Department Supervisor, Dejakanul was charged with the management of daily clinical operations and became the go-to person for all urgent and routine sickcall patients.

“I’ve always been interested in medicine,” said Dejakanul. “My mom is a nurse so I grew up hearing medical terms and helping my mom bandage up our dogs and horses. As a non-rate, I was able to attend EMT school and worked as the unit’s EMT at a very busy small boat station. My name was already on the health service technician’s (‘A’ school) list at that point, but that solidified my choice.”

Dejakanul eventually became the lead Aviation Mission Specialist for Air Station Sitka, orchestrating complex medical drills which were added to the unit’s complex training schedule. Additionally, she logged 58 flight hours and provided patient care during nine medevac missions saving nine lives. During one incident involving a patient received from a remote civilian clinic, Dejanakul quickly recognized the elderly man suffered from an unstable hip fracture that hadn’t been treated. During the medevac, she expertly splinted the pelvis greatly decreasing the man’s pain and reducing the possibility of a bleed out.

“We were really proud to nominate Petty Officer Dejakanul for this award,” said Chief Petty Officer Matthew Reines, Air Station Sitka’s clinic administrator. “She strives to improve herself and encourages others around her to make similar strides in expanding their professional development.

“She’s always looking for projects that will contribute positively to the unit as well as the Coast Guard,” Petty Officer 1st Class James Allen, Air Station Sitka’s clinic supervisor added.

When she isn’t tending to her shipmates or standing watch at the air station’s clinic, Dejakanul takes care of her community. Throughout 2014, she selflessly devoted more than 130 hours to the Sitka Fire Department, participating in emergency medical drills, training, monthly meetings and responding to medical emergencies within the community. As a proactive role model she volunteered 36 hours with the Sitka Community School “Girls on the Run,” a five-month program intended to increase health and physical fitness, self esteem, communication and positive team building for elementary-aged girls. She also organized a unit-wide food drive, obtaining over 2000 pounds of nonperishable food donations for the Sitkans against Family Violence Women’s Shelter and the Salvation Army and spent many hours assisting the Southeast Regional Emergency Medical Services training department by proctoring Alaska state practical exams for EMT-I and EMT-II.

Dejakanul’s determined pursuit of individual and professional excellence, coupled with her passion for the Coast Guard mission, clearly set her apart from her peers resulting in her selection as Clinic Health Service Technician of the Year. Whether shipmate or community member, those who have benefited from her care would likely agree.

“It feels amazing to be selected as the Clinic Health Services Technician of the Year,” said Dejakanul. “I personally know a lot of great HSs in the Coast Guard and I’m so honored to have been selected from among them.”

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