Commander keeps vow to make positive changes

Janet Taylor-Birkey

Eighteen years ago, Lt. Col. Roseanne Warner, 27th Medical Operations Squadron commander, was the mother of a six-week-old baby girl and was performing her annual physical training test. Knowing that six weeks postpartum was too quick to do the required strenuous testing, she thought, “One day I am going to change things.”
“It was a crystallizing moment,” she said. Following her resolve to change things for the better, Colonel Warner worked to get postpartum PT training waived until six months after childbirth. But that was just the beginning of many changes to come.
The changes Colonel Warner committed herself to making led to a variety of Air Force positions and awards, the most recent being the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners State Award for Excellence for New Mexico.
As a two-level award, the first will be presented by the New Mexico Nurse Practitioner Council, in Albuquerque on April 22 and then again on a national level in June at the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners annual conference in Texas, where one person is chosen from each state.
“The award is based on my work with the local nurse practitioners,” said Colonel Warner. “It is truly an honor; I never expected [my work] to lead to this. It represents a career pinnacle. ” She is quick to add, however, that the award is not the end of her career. “There are more things to do.”
When she arrived at Cannon in 2004, Colonel Warner found out the closest Nurse Practitioner Chapter was located in Albuquerque. The lack of local support for nurse practitioners caused Colonel Warner to envision a local, formal network of nurse practitioners in the Clovis/Portales area. Begun in January 2005, this group allows nurse practitioners to learn from speakers, allows nurse practitioner students to join them for mentoring purposes and has become a military/civilian venture. As a result of this venture, some of the local civilian nurse practitioners have also become Tricare providers.
Colonel Warner’s influence extends far beyond the local nurse practitioner’s networking group of which she is a part. Lauding the Air Force for a satisfying career since joining in 1985, she said, “It’s given me a lot of opportunities to do very different things. I have been able to have an impact on others. The Air Force allows me to impact the world globally.”
The impact made by Colonel Warner extends from having been the Military Consultant to the Surgeon General for Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner to making changes in women’s clinics across the Air Force.
“I have been able to have a voice in women’s health care for the deployed female,” said Colonel Warner, citing how her input helped change medical deployment kits to better care for deployed Airmen’s health concerns.
Most of these changes have come about with the background of rearing a family. “It’s about recognizing [everything that needs to be done] and finding balance,” said Colonel Warner. “If you focus on the positive and are persistent, you can do great things,” she said, reminding Airmen when they go to a new duty station, “You have fresh eyes, just jump in. Do well where you are planted.”
Colonel Warner will leave Cannon for Aviano Air Base, Italy in July where she will work as the deputy medical group commander of the hospital.