By Jane Gervasoni, Public Affairs Office, U.S. Army Public Health CommandApril 30, 2013
Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, Army surgeon general and commander, U.S. Army Medical Command, visited the U.S. Army Public Health Command April 25. She learned about how the command accomplished its mission of promoting health and preventing disease, injury and disability within the Army.
Horoho emphasized the importance of her top health promotion initiative, the Performance Triad. The three "legs" of the triad--activity, nutrition and sleep--are key to building and sustaining good health in all of the populations the USAPHC mission includes. The triad also contributes to the surgeon general's goal of moving the Army medical system from "a healthcare system to a system for health."
Maj. Gen. Jimmie O. Keenan, USAPHC commander, welcomed Horoho and MEDCOM Command Sgt. Maj. Donna Brock, senior enlisted advisor to the Army surgeon general.
Horoho got a first look at USAPHC educational and training materials including posters, tip cards and a leadership guide designed for her Performance Triad initiative.
She said that the Performance Triad would challenge how the Army looks at activity, nutrition and sleep.
"People don't change overnight," said Brock. "This (Performance Triad) will take time before we see results and how it will impact the force."
Keenan and John J. Resta, director of the USAPHC's Army Institute of Public Health, accompanied Horoho on a tour of the USAPHC headquarters and the AIPH, co-located at Aberdeen Proving Ground--South, Md.
The tour gave her the opportunity to meet and talk with technical experts in the nine technical portfolios of the AIPH.
Various portfolios provided demonstrations of mission initiatives related to public health and its impact on individual health and lifestyles. Public health initiatives discussed included Army Wellness Centers, safe patient handling, the Army Hearing Program and the Quality Work Environment.
Horoho reiterated the need for a culture shift in the Army healthcare system from reactive to proactive.
"Army Wellness Centers, the Ready and Resilient Campaign and the Performance Triad will improve health and help prevent disease and injury," Horoho said "We need to challenge how we look at wellness from different perspectives. If they (Soldiers) know why they should do it, they will change behaviors."
In providing a brief on the state of the USAPHC for the surgeon general, Resta explained how the USAPHC strategic objectives of healthy people, healthy communities, healthy workplaces and healthy animals keep the organization focused on her goals of impacting people's health and quality of life beyond what can be provided in a clinical setting, in what Horoho calls "the Life Space."
The opportunity to meet and speak with the Army surgeon general was appreciated by members of the command.
"She asked specific questions," said Dr. Mark Johnson, Toxicology Portfolio director, "and she personally thanked all of us on what we do to help protect the warfighter."