Health Promotion duo optimizes health on Incirlik

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Gary Hilton II
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The 39th Operation Medical Readiness Squadron health promotion team provides and integrates evidence-based programs to optimize the health and readiness, even during these unprecedented times.
“Airmen must be ready to operate and succeed in the future high-end fight,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., expressed in his Action Orders.

Part of this readiness includes sharpening Airmen’s physical readiness pillar, which proved to be a challenge as Incirlik Air Base faced COVID-19 restrictions to travel and recreation. According to the American Gastroenterological Society, COVID-19 restrictions have a direct correlation with weight gain and increased alcohol consumption.

Incirlik, however, has the health promotion team to combat this grim statistic.

“We focus on educating clients on nutrition, sleep and substance abuse,” said Capt. Sydney Sloan, 39th OMRS health promotion element chief. “That way, people are missing less days of work, getting more sleep, meeting fitness standards and are able to do what their mission requires them to do.”

Sloan and her teammate, Senior Airman Gloriann Manapsal, 39th OMRS health promotion technician, make up Incirlik’s health promotion team. This is the only health promotion office in United States Air Forces in Europe that is fully staffed by service members.

“Our goal is to provide statistics to influence Team Titan members to make a healthy lifestyle a social norm,” said Manapsal.

Their methods include the Health & Readiness Optimization reports, a quarterly assessment consisting of the Periodic Health Assessment, often referred to as the PHA, and fitness questionnaire, Sloan said.

A combination of HERO reports and walk-in clinic assessments provide the duo with areas of effort concerning personnel health.

“A lot of what we’ve seen in our clinic and through our HERO report pertains to alcohol consumption, lack of sleep and weight loss management,” said Sloan.

She added that reports have shown a 2.5 percent increase in personnel weight gain and a four percent increase in smoking in the 3rd Quarter of 2021 (1 July – 30 Sept.). Sloan and Manapsal combat these statistics by providing a range of evidence-based interventions via programs and services that facilitate healthy living as the default lifestyle choice.

“We host a weekly InBody walk-in clinic for our clients, as well as our Best-S.E.L.F. Program every six weeks,” said Sloan.

The InBody walk-in clinic provides the opportunity and equipment for participants to perform a body composition test, showing individuals how their body may change over a period of time. The Best-S.E.L.F. (Shape Up/Eat Right/Live Well/Fit to Fight) Program is a six-session course highlighting nutrition, physical activity, sleep and mindfulness. These programs, cooking classes and more make up the team’s pool of resources.

“We also hold fitness events, like our Titan Combine,” said Manapsal. “It’s a group-based fitness event similar to a professional football combine.”

The team added that with these programs in place, Incirlik’s health promotion team continues to foster a culture and environment that values health and wellness, empowers individuals and organizations to lead healthy lives.

For more information about Incirlik’s health promotion’s classes, seminars and other opportunities call DSN: 676-8256, or check out their Facebook page at AB Health Promotion.