SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Are you considering making changes toward a healthier you, but need that "push" to get you started and keep you going?

Schofield Barracks will celebrate the grand opening of an Army Wellness Center this summer that will provide customers with the tools and educational opportunities to accomplish their health, wellness and fitness goals.

-- Successful concept

Army Wellness Centers have been implemented with great success at a number of continental U.S. and overseas U.S. installations, providing a wide variety of services to include metabolic testing, health assessment review, healthy nutrition education, exercise testing, stress management education, weight management, biometric screening and general wellness education.

According to Army Public Health Command, Army Wellness Centers "provide standardized primary prevention programs designed to promote and sustain healthy lifestyles and improve the overall well-being of Soldiers, family members, retirees, and DA civilians."

APHC promotion also states Army Wellness Center programs can "directly impact readiness by reducing lost or limited duty time and the number of Soldiers on physical profile."

-- Holistic approach

The key to an Army Wellness Center's success is a holistic delivery of service approach that accounts for all aspects of an individual's life and circumstances.

Rather than apply a "one-size-fits-all" wellness program to customers, Army Wellness Center staff work to consider the whole person and develop wellness plans that are customer specific.

Center personnel will also focus on prevention, in line with the Army Surgeon General's campaign, to shift from a "health care system" to a "system for health" that engages and empowers community members. The goal is to make lasting lifestyle changes that will allow them to live longer, healthier lives.

-- How does it work?

There are three ways to be seen at the Army Wellness Center. Customers can be referred either by their medical provider or unit commanders, or they can self-refer by contacting the Army Wellness Center and requesting an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are preferred in order to provide the best service to meet customers' needs.

-- PCSing soon?

Don't worry if you're making a permanent change of station move. With over 38 Army Wellness Centers projected by 2017, it is likely one has been established at or near your new home.

If you begin working with local Army Wellness Center staff prior to your move, your wellness plan will follow you through your electronic medical record and the Army Wellness Center Web-based system.

The Schofield Barracks Army Wellness Center will be located in Bldg. 647 and will be open to all military health system beneficiaries.

As the grand opening approaches, hours of operation and contact information will be publicized.

If you are serious about making healthy lifestyle changes, consider the Schofield Barracks Army Wellness Center and its staff your community resource for assisting you with setting and meeting your goals.

(Note: Linda Bass is the health promotion officer for USARHAW. General information about Army Wellness Centers is referenced from the U.S. Army Public Health Command website.)

-- Existing locations

Additional Army Wellness Center locations can be found here: http://phc.amedd.army.mil/topics/healthyliving/al/Page/ArmyWellnessCenters.aspx.