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TRICARE salutes MacDill HAWC

The Health and Wellness Center team at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Fla., and the Health Promotions team at Naval Hospital Bremerton, Bremerton, Wash., exemplified the 2005 TRICARE Conference theme "Fit for Life: Healthy Force, Healthy Families" by promoting responsible alcohol use, tobacco cessation, and weight management.

The MacDill HAWC partnered with the installation to hold a "Do Not Drink and Drive" event for more than 300 TRICARE beneficiaries. To better promote tobacco cessation, the HAWC expanded their class schedule and incorporated the use of electronic behavior modification devices designed to help smokers quit without medication.

In support of their "Eat Smart - Play Hard" program, the team provided weight management information, screenings and advice for more than 700 attendees of a HAWC-sponsored "Fit Stop" community health fair. On their Web site, the HAWC conducted an awareness campaign on the link between alcohol and sexual assault, and an online weight management class with information and interactive links to assist users.

The HAWC also successfully assisted Air Mobility Command to obtain grants for obesity assessment, the President's fitness challenge and Fit-Stop, the diabetes health fair, cholesterol education and deployment fitness, enabling TRICARE beneficiary access to more than 450 health and wellness intervention classes.

The NHB Health Promotions Team promotes a variety of initiatives toward tobacco cessation, including: development of a tobacco cessation handbook; placement of cessation material throughout the military and local community; "Adopt a Smoker," "Quit Kit" and "Bring a Smoker to Breakfast" programs to support "The Great American Smokeout;" a "Getting Ready to Quit…Again" workshop; and a secondhand smoke awareness campaign "Blow Bubbles, Not Smoke," in partnership with the Kitsap County Tobacco Coalition.

The Naval hospital supports the "Ship Shape Program" to help sailors and Marines adopt successful strategies for nutrition, exercise and stress management in order to meet physical readiness standards. Their "Why Weight" program provides education on menu planning, shopping tips, recipe modifications, relapse prevention and exercise, while the "Heart Smart" workshop focuses on cholesterol and blood pressure management. The team also promotes alcohol cessation through classes for Substance Abuse Rehabilitation program participants and staff, and provides such classes for the Mental Health Clinic's Outpatient Crisis Intervention program.

TRICARE salutes MacDill HAWC and NHB's Health Promotions team as Heroes of TRICARE for their commitment to promoting healthy choices. Because of their efforts, TRICARE beneficiaries lead healthier lives today. (Courtesy of www.tricare.osd.mil)

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