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Wellness center puts clients in driver’s seat

By Tywanna Sparks | IACH PAO | December 12, 2013

Soldiers, retirees, their families and Army civilians interested in making a positive change in their health and wellness can benefit from the many services offered at the Fort Riley Army Wellness Center, or AWC.

Located on Normandy Drive and housed in the Victory Center, the AWC is a U.S. Army Medical Command initiative overseen by the Army Public Health Command.

The goal of AWC is to provide standardized primary prevention programs and services designed to build and sustain good health, and to improve the overall healthy lifestyles of Soldiers, family members, retirees and Army civilians.

It is staffed by extremely approachable nurse and health educators, who deliver primary prevention programs on an individual basis, explained Kendra Seat, AWC director.

"We understand people may get a little anxious about coming in," Seat said. "We're more of a sounding board. We have our expertise here, and we know our information, but we also know a person is not going to make a change unless they are ready to. We try to take what our clients think might work for them, and create their health and wellness goals. We look at a person as an individual as opposed to what may have worked for someone else."

Ultimately, clients set the goals, and AWC staff follow up to see whether the client's goals are working, Seat said.

Programs are offered for free, and testing elsewhere would cost about $3,000 from private sources.

Although referrals can be made to the AWC by medical providers or unit commanders, self-referrals are encouraged and can be made by contacting the AWC.

According to the USAPHC website, the AWC approach to service is holistic. AWC staff members take into account all of an individual's physical, psychological and social circumstances when providing services. A holistic approach is important because a person's health cannot be fully addressed unless the whole person is considered. Services provided include the following:

• Health assessment review: An analysis of a person's health status, risk for disease and ability to increase physical activity safely.

• Physical fitness: Using state-of-the-art equipment, physical fitness level is assessed and used to create an individualized exercise prescription.

• Healthy nutrition: Use of metabolic testing synchronizes an individual's resting metabolic rate to provide tailored strategies for weight loss, gain or maintenance.

• Stress management: Education in biofeedback and stress-relief techniques, positive coping skills and good sleep habits.

• General wellness education: Classes on topics such as healthy lifestyles, increased resiliency, preventing chronic disease through healthy living habits and self-care.

• Tobacco education: An assessment of an individual's readiness to change, a discussion of possible options for becoming tobacco-free and provision of the appropriate tobacco cessation education.

For more information or to make a self referral, contact AWC at 785-239-9355.

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