Fort Hood’s Army Wellness Center will undergo a transformation in the next few months.
As part of the Army’s effort to standardize centers across all installations, the Fort Hood facility will remain open, but add preventive health programs to meet requirements.
“All of them will look the same,” said Maj. Zack Solomon, project manager for the Wellness Center from the Army’s Public Health Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. “If you walk into the center at Fort Bragg, it will look the same as if you walk into the one at Fort Hood.”
So far 19 centers have been standardized, with the first at installations in Germany. The one at Fort Bragg, N.C., has become so popular, Solomon said another one was added. Of the 11 open to the public in 2013, there were about 40,000 visits overall, he said.
The Fort Hood center stood up in 2010 as part of then-post commander Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch’s Resiliency Center, said Capt. Jason Norwood, Resiliency Campus commandant. Since then, its program offerings have been locally driven. Over the next two to three months, Fort Hood’s center will be adding equipment and personnel to meet the standard.
Each Army Wellness Center houses six core programs to target primary prevention programs and services that promote enhanced and sustained healthy lifestyles to improve the overall well-being of soldiers and family members. They are health assessment review, physical fitness, healthy nutrition, stress management, general wellness education and tobacco education. All supporting technology will be mobile, to allow providers to visit units in their footprint, Solomon said.
“We are looking at affecting the largest portion of the population,” he said of the “generalist” nature of the programs. “The Army Wellness Centers are picking up the role to deliver health education.”
Some of the local programs currently operating in the Fort Hood center, such as Weigh to Live, tobacco cessation and the Executive Wellness Assessment Program, will continue to operate, but under Health Promotion. Once the transformation is complete, the facility will house both entities under the umbrella name, the Soldier and Family Fit Facility, located near Old Ironsides Avenue and 31st Street.
The centers will serve as the “brick and mortar” to the Army’s new Performance Triad, which encourages activity, nutrition and sleep, Solomon said.
“We want to create a system for health and look more toward wellness and prevention,” he said. “We’re being proactive instead of reactive.”
The Fort Hood center is already popular, but has room to grow, Norwood said. Many soldiers trying to meet their weight requirements come in to develop a plan, he said.
The center is open to anyone with a Defense Department ID card, to include civilian employees and retirees.