JOINT MULTINATIONAL READINESS CENTER, Germany – To better accommodate the Soldiers of the Hohenfels community, several health services from U.S. Army Health Clinic Vilseck are providing outreach services to Hohenfels.
Soldiers at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center now have access to chiropractic care, nutrition consulting, occupational therapy and more without the hour one-way drive to Rose Barracks.
Chiropractic care is available at U.S. Army Health Clinic Hohenfels the first and third Fridays of the month. The Armed Forces Wellness Center and occupational therapy are available the second and fourth Fridays. The physical therapy clinic, an annex building on the rear side of the main clinic, is open for normal services 10 hours a day Monday through Thursday, which allows for the visiting services to use the facility on the first through fourth Fridays.
“It works out for the patients,” said Lt. Col. Casey McKenna, the commander of U.S. Army Health Clinic Hohenfels. “All those patients who require – especially those who require occupational therapy – would have otherwise had to drive to Vilseck to get those services. So, we bring the care here to them, which is much more efficient and convenient for our patient population. It keeps them off the road and gets them back to duty.”
Maj. Danny Harris, the associate deputy commander for clinical services at Medical Activity Bavaria, said that the providers are staying busy when they visit Fridays, and furthermore, the service receives positive comments through the Interactive Customer Evaluation specifically regarding local availability.
“We have some really awesome providers who are willing to do whatever it takes to fill the mission,” Harris added.
Dr. Jon Lopez, chiropractic physician for MEDDAC-Bavaria at U.S. Army Health Clinic Vilseck, has been working in the chiropractic field 12 years, 7.5 of which were in the Army.
“It helps readiness, cuts down on profiles, so I think that benefits the active-duty community,” he said of the chiropractic care. “Pilots cannot take certain kinds of medication, so it’s nice to offer them other options to manage their pain.
“The misconception with chiropractic care is that we are only manipulating and adjusting,” Lopez continued. “That’s what we’re known for. But there’s more to it than just that. We do prescribe exercise to help correct any muscular imbalances, to improve readiness, reduce injuries. We also do manual therapy soft tissue treatment. There are different tools that we have.”
The Armed Forces Wellness Center provides community members prevention programs and services so they can live healthier.
Dr. Randall Watkins, the director of the Armed Forces Wellness Center, helps ensure that the functions of the AFWC are presented to the communities that AFWC serves.
“Not every Soldier has access to a vehicle,” said Watkins. “Sometimes public transportation is compromising. So it’s really about proximity and about being available to Soldiers so they can benefit from the services.
“We see Hohenfels service members, Grafenwoehr, Vilseck, Garmisch, Ansbach, Illesheim, the entire Bavarian footprint,” Watkins continued. “We cover a large aspect of wellness. The main focus that we have is in many communities is the weight management.”
They make recommendations to their patients on what they need to do to lose, maintain or gain weight or to increase lean muscle mass. They base their recommendations on the patient’s current caloric consumption, their metabolism and their physical activity. They can also assess blood-oxygen level and how patients process lactic acid.
Watkins added that AFWC addresses Family members, general schedule employees as well as service members.
Not every part of the service is available from Vilseck. The “bod pod,” the white egg-shaped module users can sit in that uses air pressure to assess body composition, is not mobile enough to travel biweekly to and from Hohenfels.
“At least they can do the consultation portion and at least get some rudimentary diet and exercise advice from the Armed Forces Wellness Center,” said McKenna. “And the Armed Forces Wellness Center staff can refer them to more services.”
“We are always open to trying to make things more patient-centered,” said Harris. “There are many services offered. If they’d like to see something else kind of rotationally out there in those areas – a need that’s not being met – just let us know.”
To learn more about chiropractic care, the Armed Forces Wellness Center, occupational health and other services now offered at Hohenfels, contact the clinic by visiting their website at https://mhs-europe.tricare.mil/hohenfels.