By Senior Airman Dylan Auger, 439th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 29, 2020
U.S. Air Force Capt. Keith Grant, 439th Aerospace Medical Squadron flight medicine provider, works as a Senior Assistant Director in infection prevention for Hartford Healthcare in Connecticut. (Courtesy photo)
U.S. Air Force Capt. Keith Grant, 439th Aerospace Medical Squadron flight medicine provider, worked on the front lines of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.
When he isn’t in Air Force uniform, Grant works as a Senior Assistant Director in infection prevention for Hartford Healthcare in Connecticut.
“My day-to-day job includes building infection control programs, collaborating with other health departments and ensuring that the proper resources are in place to promote infection prevention practices,” he said.
Grant said his current infection control team showed him the powerfulness of teamwork, something he also experienced in the Air Force.
“This pandemic has forced people to rely on others in a collaborative way, and it has been refreshing to see,” he said. “In the military, we are trained in collaboration, but it can be challenging in the civilian world.”
During the pandemic, Grant’s Hartford Healthcare team worked long hours to reduce the spread of the disease.
“I’ve been working like I’ve been deployed for the last few months,” he said. “On an average week, I’ve been working 70-80 hours”.
Grant said while the pandemic has been incredibly sad, it tested his team’s response and they responded effectively.
“For an infection preventionist or infectious disease provider, a pandemic is something that you never would wish for, but when it does come, you want to make sure you are capable to handle it,” he said. “We have done very well as a provider group.”
Grant’s journey to working in infection control started while he was an NCO in Charge of infection control.
“During this time, the H1N1 disease was spreading in the country, so the job became more important,” he said.
Grant separated from the military, became a nurse and took a position in infection control before returning to the Air Force as a commissioned officer.
He said the most impactful military skill he took to his civilian job is the ability to drown out outside noise and focus on important tasks.
“The military teaches you how to be disciplined and focused,” said Grant. “My interest is in my team’s progress, the military taught me that.”