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New Army Wellness Center opens for business on BJACH-Fort Polk

BJACH Leadership

Soldier health, readiness moves forward as Fort Polk opens new Army Wellness Center

Left to right: CSM Jeremiah Inman, JRTC and Fort Polk Command Sergeant Major, BG Gary M. Brito, JRTC and Fort Polk Commanding General, Col Carlene A.S Blanding MEDDAC Commander and CSM Mark Bivins, MEDDAC CSM, Kathy Adams, AWC Mentor and Lyn Poppie, Army Wellness Center Director, cut the ribbon on the 29th Army Wellness Center to open in the continental United States June 17.

Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital and the Fort Polk Joint Readiness Training Center, made good on improving Soldier health and readiness with the opening of their Army Wellness Center June 17.

The 29th AWC features state-of-the-art equipment and health educator staff all geared to improving wellness in the Soldier’s life space.

The Army Wellness Center, an initiative of the U.S. Army Medical Command, aligns with the Army’s readiness strategy using a holistic approach by incorporating body and mind as well as multiple disciplines such as fitness, nutrition, stress management, wellness, and self-care.

The Army Wellness Center mission is to provide integrated and standardized primary prevention programs and services that promote enhanced and sustained healthy lifestyles to improve the overall well-being of Soldiers, Family Members, Retirees, and Department of Defense Civilians.

Open weekdays, the facility provides clients with prevention programs to help improve their overall wellbeing. The facility is staffed with educators that have degrees in health/wellness or behavioral health as well as certifications in different aspects of fitness. The center’s high-tech equipment includes a “bod-pod” that uses air displacement to determine lean mass and fat mass and is one of the most accurate body fat readings measurements on the market today.

“The exciting part of most of the equipment in the Army Wellness Center mirrors what is generally seen in universities and research centers throughout the country,” said Lyn Poppie, Director of the Army Wellness Center. “We have it here in our wellness center for our military family.”

Lyn Poppie, Director of the Fort Polk Army Wellness Center, explains the working of a high-tech diagnostic piece of equipment to BG Gary Brito, JRTC & Fort Polk Commanding General and his wife, Michelle during the Open House after the ribbon cutting.

According to BG Gary M. Brito, JRTC and Fort Polk Commanding General, Fort Polk’s Army Wellness Center offers some services and technologies many users may have not seen before as well as private time for Soldiers to be counseled and work with professionals and a professional staff. “It’s a great thing for them and their family to be able to get the physical health that they need to sustain themselves.”

Work on the Fort Polk Army Wellness Center began over two years ago and was one of only five new AWC’s to receive funding in FY 15. The current AWC location was approved along with the release of $311.5K of funds in order to make the building modifications and procure new equipment.

Col Marla J. Ferguson
CSM Roderick D. Taylor
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