JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- The new Army Wellness Center officially opened on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston with a ribbon cutting ceremony April 29.

"Army Wellness Centers empower participants to set their own health goals and achieve them," said Kim Waller, director of the new facility.

"We address lifestyle change in areas that affect both short-term and long-term health. We reach outside of clinic walls and engage people in their "lifespace"- the places in which they live, work, relax, and rest," she said.

The Army Wellness Center approach is holistic, incorporating body and mind as well as multiple disciplines such as fitness, nutrition, stress management, wellness and self-care.

Services include exercise testing and exercise prescription, weight management and metabolic testing, stress management education and biofeedback, body composition analysis, sleep education and tobacco education.

All services are free for service members, military retirees, family members and Department of Defense civilians. If these services were purchased from a private source, testing could cost about $3,000.

"Army Wellness Centers are an U.S. Army Medical Command initiative completely nested with the Army's readiness strategy," said Col. Jeffrey Johnson, Brooke Army Medical Center commander.

"Army Wellness Centers perfectly align with the Army's concept of readiness," Johnson said. "As the U.S. Army Medical Department functions as a system of health, Army Wellness Centers provide the support for integrated wellness services as part of our medical provider's tool kit to provide comprehensive wellness to patients."

When a client visits the Army Wellness Center, their encounter is documented in their electronic health record. Their medical provider is integrated into their wellness plan, has the ability to give direction and oversight to the wellness center, and is able to follow their patients' progress.

Army Wellness Centers also help improve personal and unit readiness. They support physical fitness and overall performance of service members to better meet mission.

Army Wellness Centers empower individuals to build, sustain and maintain their own good health. They offer programs and services that help their clients achieve lifestyle change and prevent or mitigate chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

"This building is our temporary home while renovations are made down the road for the Vogel Resiliency Center, but you will find that our current operation nothing short of impressive," Waller said.

The Army Wellness Center is located in Building 147, 2407 North New Braunfels Ave. To schedule an appointment, call 539-1254.