ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md - APG senior leaders and community members celebrated the grand opening of the APG Army Wellness Center (AWC) located inside Kirk U.S. Army Health Center, with a ribbon cutting Jan. 24.

AWC's are prevention-focused programs that aim to build and sustain good health. Its free standardized health services are offered to soldiers, retirees, family members, army civilians and contractors (space available basis).

Programs offered at the center include: health and physical fitness assessments, metabolic testing, nutrition counseling, weight loss management, stress reduction techniques and tobacco education.

APG's AWC Director Chris Sorrells said programs are individualized to meet patients' needs, motivation and confidence levels.

For example, the Health Assessment Review includes American College of Sports Medicine risk stratification; a physical activity readiness questionnaire; a perceived stress scale score and biometric screening.

From private sources, this testing would cost about $3,000.

Based on the results of the testings, AWC staff members create short-term and long-term health goals for clients, and receive custom meal and exercise plans.

For eligible medical system beneficiaries seeing an Army provider, the AWC staff also will document visit results in their medical record.

"The center provides us with the tools and the motivation to help us reach a healthy lifestyle," said KUSAHC Commander Lt. Col. Ellen S. Daly, during the ceremony. "What I find most exciting is that the services are open to the entire community."

U.S. Army Public Health Commander Maj. Gen. Jimmie O. Keenan said that AWCs will contribute to a more resilient and productive workforce.

She said that with the AWC, the Army will be a leader for a nation struggling with a crippling obesity epidemic, by focusing on prevention rather than disease.

There are many great young Americans that would like to join our military but are physically unable to because of their obesity," Keenan said. "I really think the Army has an opportunity to be a leader for the nation, by demonstrating how to move from a healthcare system to a system of health."

After the ribbon cutting ceremony guided tours of the facility were offered.

The AWC Program is an U.S. Army Medical Command Program overseen by the U.S. Army Public Health Command.

There is currently an Office of the Surgeon General initiative underway to develop 38 Army Wellness Centers worldwide.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 410-306-1024.