Program Improvement Forum Provides Army 'Perspective on Prevention'

By Army Resilience DirectorateAugust 26, 2022

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ARLINGTON, Va.-- The Army Resilience Directorate hosted its annual Performance Improvement Forum Aug. 9-10, Arlington, Va., and virtually.

This year’s theme “Perspective on Prevention” derives from the Army People Strategy—seeking to create a people-focused culture that destroys harmful behaviors and builds cohesive teams across our formations. The two-day conference allowed Army professionals to learn, share, and enhance prevention strategies.

Dr. James Helis, Army Resilience Directorate director, provided opening remarks and spoke on the importance of conducting the PIF.

According to Helis, the past interactions of the PIF were almost exclusively a Sexual Harassment/ Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program event. He went on to state that there are overlaps in the risk and protective factors if you look at SHARP, suicide prevention, domestic violence and substance abuse- there are overlaps there.

“We are trying to address these issues in a more comprehensive and holistic manner,” said Helis. “Breaking down the silos in our different prevention programs to try and work together to take care of Soldiers.”

The two-day event included panels covering topics such as Deterrence and Prevention of Substance Abuse, Stress Management, Prevention of Harmful Behaviors and others as well as breakout sessions covering subtopics.

Maj. Gen. Christopher Norrie, People First Task Force (PFTF) director, led a panel to discuss the progress of implementing the 70 recommendations included in the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee report. PFTF leads the Army’s one-year pilot to test a new approach to care for, protect, and empower victims/survivors of sexual harassment and sexual assault – the SH/SA Fusion Directorate. Norrie emphasized the directorates aim of increasing accountability, transparency, and efficiency. His team discussed impacts the Cohesion Assessment Team has on the assessed units, its future composition and disposition as it transitions to TRADOC in January of 2023. PFTF continues leading efforts focused on preventing harmful behaviors which has led the composition of the Army Integrated Prevention Strategy.

“We’re observing change, not only in the Army, but in society as well,” said Norrie.  “I’m really proud of this focus that you all have on prevention and getting upstream and on how to stop these behaviors collectively.

Norrie went on to state that prevention acknowledges the support of the whole system- not only the personal connection with friends, family, and their whole unit but also the influence of the organization, the installation, and the local community.

Helis concluded the two-day event with closing remarks and award presentations to select SHARP professionals.

“It’s important that we work together to continue to try and make this program better,” said Helis. “Our focus is on taking care of victims. We will continue to make the program better day-by-day, year-by-year.