Program offers DoD civilians time for total wellness
October 25, 2012
FORT SILL, Okla. -- Installation Management Command commander Lt. Gen. Mike Ferriter is giving marching orders to civilians.
He's giving civilians the opportunity to get out and get fit, not only physically, but in all areas of total wellness to include social, spiritual, emotional, and family.
The Civilian Wellness and Fitness Program is offered across the Department of Defense giving civilians an hour, three times a week, for six months to work on their well being.
"It's for the overall wellness of the DoD civilian population," said James Frierson, workforce development. "We're trying to keep up with the Army. The Army is going to this all wellness."
Every garrison employee received the enrollment packet recently and to start the program they first have to do a health assessment. If employees answer yes to any of the survey questions, they must have their physician's written consent. Then they turn it into their supervisor, so they can submit it to IMCOM.
"The reason I'm doing it is because it was a way to motivate me. If I'm not motivated I'm not going to do it, and if they're just giving me this opportunity then I'll take it. I did it before when we had it, and I'm going to do it again. I had a lot more energy," said Adrian Holmes, human resource assistant.
The enrollment packet outlines the criteria for participation which states the mission takes priority and managers can make sure the hours are not being abused. Acceptable activities are loosely defined to allow employees to participate in the maximum number of activities without requiring cumbersome oversight.
Currently at IMCOM Headquarters, civilians are participating in running, walking, biking, yoga, Zumba, weight lifting, body toning, swimming, hiking, fishing, bowling, jewelry making, scrapbooking, quilt making, spiritual luncheons, meditation, book club, Toast Masters, karaoke club and several others.
"The program is somewhat similar to the old CHIP program, Civilian Health Improvement Program, same rules, for six months once in your career. if you participated in the old CHIP program you can still take advantage of the wellness program," said Frierson.
The guidelines state the employee wanting to start the program must answer the survey questions and include their BMI and weight. It stresses that information, especially weight, will not be advertised and the answers to the survey will be scored and then destroyed.
"Of all the phone calls I've had most people are afraid to put their weight down. It does not violate HIPPA, and it's not personal identifiable information," said Frierson. "This is a program to help you if you're trying to lose weight."
"The real reason I did it is because my husband had ACL surgery two weeks ago and he's going to be on physical therapy. He's going to have to walk a lot, and I thought it was a good time we could walk together," said Tina Baker, Human Resource assistant.
"I have an online tracker that I've had for a while so, it lets me know when I"m slipping. That's when I decided yeah, let's go ahead and do this because yeah I've slipped," said Holmes.
Frierson said the program is also for those who are physically active and want to keep up their fitness or push into new goals.
"Continue to workout, or take someone under your wings. The supervisors can't turn anyone down for this. It came down in an operations order that this be made available to every civilian employee."