NEWS | July 31, 2015

NHCC delivers gold standard of care, earns health promotion and wellness award

By HM Mark Simon Naval Health Clinic Charleston

Naval Health Clinic Charleston recently earned the Gold Star, 2014 Blue-H - Navy Surgeon General's Health Promotion and Wellness Award.

"I am honored to receive this award on behalf of the Naval Health Clinic Charleston team," said NHCC Commanding Officer Capt. Elizabeth Maley. "It truly represents the staff's dedication to our beneficiaries and a commitment to wellness. Our goal is to facilitate healthy lifestyle decisions in both our staff and beneficiairies."

The Blue-H encourages and rewards the promotion of health and wellness in activities throughout the Department of the Navy and the Marine Corps,. Such activities are critical to maintaining a fit and ready force. This annual award is earned at three levels: Bronze Anchor, Silver Eagle and Gold Star. Each command that applies receives at least the Bronze Anchor. To earn the Silver Eagle, a command must score at least 50 points in every category, and the Gold Star level requires commands to achieve a minimum of 80 percent of total available points. The Medical Treatment Facility category recognizes excellence in clinical primary prevention services, community health promotion and medical staff management.

"Receiving the Blue-H award in itself is an honor, but to receive the Gold Star validates a commitment from the organization at all levels that we are proactive in ensuring the health and well-being of our patient population, including our own staff," said Capt. Danny Denton, director, Public Health Services, Naval Health Clinic Charleston. "This requires a great deal of effort and coordination, but the true reward is seeing a change in lifestyles that promote healthy living."  

Linda Washington, NHCC clinical nutritionist and Wellness coordinator, spearheaded efforts for NHCC to earn the prestigious award, but credits her to fellow staff members for their collaborative efforts.

"Winning this award is a reflection of a great team of people in our command," said Washington. "This is a great way to recognize them for their hard work and to put their accomplishments on a platform."

Topics assessed by Blue H criteria include responsible drinking, injury prevention, nutrition, physical activity, psychological health, sexual health, tobacco prevention and cessation, and weight management.

"Wellness is the state of emotional, social, and physical well-being," said Washington. "The Wellness Department is a tool for active duty, civilians, and beneficiaries to be reminded of the importance of wellness in their lives."

The NHCC Wellness department sees more than 150 patients on a monthly basis. The department's weight management and tobacco cessation programs, among others, have achieved high success rates. Washington personally assisted a handful of NHCC beneficiaries into losinge 100 pounds each.

Washington said patient motivation is key to the success of the Wellness programs.

"Our patients receive one-on-one, personalized care throughout the process," said Washington. "We also post congratulatory photos on our department wall when patients meet their goals. We find ways to keep our patients motivated."

However, it's not the recognition that inspires the NHCC staff members to give their all to their patients, said Washington.

"We don't do it for the award," said Washington. "We do it because this (work) is what we love to do."