NEWS | July 13, 2015

HAWC changes name, refocus health efforts

By Senior Airman Jared Trimarchi Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

The Health and Wellness Center known as the HAWC, recently changed its name to Health Promotion and shifted its focus from a physical wellness center to providing  installation personnel with healthier decisions through policy changes.

Health Promotion is a part of the 628th Medical Group and the staff includes a health promotion manager and a nutrition program manager. Health Promotion no longer provides an exercise physiologist.

"Although our focus has shifted, we are still providing services such as tobacco cessation and the Bod Pod to the on base community," said Nikki Conley, Health Promotion program manager. "We are working with the Integrated Delivery System and helping agencies across the installation to make policy changes which affect overall health standards. Our focus has shifted from working on the individual to working on larger scale community changes."

Health Promotion is involved in dining facility options, working with commanders to support an overall healthier workplace and healthier vending machine options.

One of the biggest concerns throughout the installation is obesity. Health Promotion is on the front lines addressing the issue.

"Reducing obesity is a major goal for the installation and we are involved in events around the base to help reduce the risks of being over weight," Conley said. "We help support squadron PT and spend time in a squadron environment talking to service members face-to-face about nutritional and wellness behaviors."

Additionally, Health Promotion will take a squadron to the commissary to discuss smarter health options, Conley added.

According to Conley, the whole person concept such as Comprehensive Airman Fitness is key to resiliency; losing weight or tobacco cessation.

"Health Promotion isn't solely focused on the physical aspect of wellbeing, we are catering to the social, spiritual and mental realms as well," Conley said. "We offer classes to get others involved in reaching the same goals, we talk about behavioral health and what causes certain nutritional habits. Our library of books and DVD's consists of material to even help with meditation."

One of the most in-depth classes Health Promotion hosts is a 12-week-long health management program, which is held every Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. behind the Sports and Fitness Center.

According to Alaine Mills, Health Promotion nutrition program manager, the class is open to all and is proven to help if one puts forth maximum effort.

"Losing weight and making health changes is easier with the right guidance and a little motivation," Mills said. "Our health management program covers many topics such as general nutrition, exercising and keeping a food log. The class helps people stay on track and debunk some of the myths about weight loss."

Health Promotion is still offering quarterly classes such as a diabetic's class and sports nutrition. The schedule for classes can be found by downloading the IDS application on a smartphone, Conley said.

Though the name changed and the focus has shifted, Health Promotion is still entirely based on providing a healthier Joint Base Charleston, Conley said.