WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – At the start of the new year, the traditional New Year’s resolutions are made by many. One of the top areas identified by people to get better in, is self-improvement. Things like eating less, exercising more and losing weight, are normally at the top of the list in that specific category.
This is where the Civilian Health Promotion Services office is able to step in and help achieve those goals by giving the civilian Airman the tools needed to succeed.
“Our office offers a wide variety of completely free tools to individuals looking to improve themselves,” said Sara Cramer, a health promotion specialist with CHPS. “We offer wellness screenings, which include a cardiac risk profile (cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar), blood pressure, and body composition analysis.”
“We also offer classes on a wide variety of health education topics, provide different wellness challenges throughout the year and we have an interactive website that offers a health risk assessment and other helpful features and resources,” she added.
All of the services offered by CHPS are free and available to DoD Civilians, with most services also available to Active Duty members.
The cardiac risk profiles can be completed once a year for those that qualify, while the body composition analysis is made available quarterly. However, the health classes and blood pressure readings can be accomplished as often as the member would like.
Classes and screening can be done at the CHPS office located in the Wright Field Fitness Center in Area B, or they are able to come to the employee.
“One nice thing is that we are a mobile worksite wellness program,” Cramer said. “So our idea is to make it more convenient for people to utilize our services. So we can come into your office to setup screenings, as well as teach our classes when requested.”
However, while the installation is at HPCON Delta all classes are being conducted virtually, and screenings are being done in-person at their offices by appointment only.
“Once we return to HPCON Charlie we will resume visiting offices and offering our services,” Cramer said. “Until then we ask that people make an appointment for our services in our office and call before they come so that we can give them all the information they will need for the service(s) being requested, and to ensure proper social distancing.”
“As a leader it's my job to make sure that I'm providing the services and resources to my teammates and letting them know that they are available for their use,” said Senior Master Sgt. Robert Redziniak, Senior Enlisted Leader for the Director of Personnel at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center. “However, a self-assessment is the first step of self-care. If you feel like you’re not on your A game, then it may be time to do something about it.”
Redziniak said that when he tells people about these available services, he normally starts with his personal experiences.
“I’ve used several of their services and had a lot of great experiences with them,” he said. “Back in 2021, I went and got my InBody assessment done with their bod pod, and after I got the data I recognized that I was not exactly where I wanted to be. So I was able to make some really great life choices, which enabled me to lose almost 30 pounds over the past six months.”
However, it’s important to note that individuals who work in this office are not doctors.
“We provide preventative screenings that in no way diagnose, treat or manage health conditions,” Cramer said. “We're a useful resource for DOD civilians and active duty members to establish a baseline for certain health markers such as blood pressure, or your blood glucose or blood cholesterol. And, from there, we'll typically recommend, if someone is showing signs of something, that they go see their doctor.”
“We're a great resource to utilize between physician visits and we encourage all participants to have a primary care provider and we share the numbers they learn here with them,” she added.
Individuals are able to track and download test results, as well as take wellness classes from the organizations website: USAFwellness.com.
Redziniak has advice for those on Wright-Patt thinking about using these services.
“Give CHPS a call, to setup an appointment or to bring them out to the unit. Make them a part of the team,” said Redziniak. “Physical and mental health are a big part of where we're at with COVID. It's important to be focused on what's most important, which taking care of yourself.”