In the midst of cuts, HAWC still helps cut the fat

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Daniel Phelps
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
As the military faces budget cuts through sequestration, the Air Force is finding ways to ensure the mission gets accomplished as best as it can.

One of the areas affected by the reduction in funding is the Incirlik Health and Wellness Center. The HAWC is slated to lose its exercise physiologist.

Though the exercise physiologist position is going away, that role will be filled by a nurse, said Capt. Krista Hutchinson, 39th Medical Operations Squadron physical therapist. The Air Force Instructions requires that position be filled.

"In the meantime, I'll be taking over a portion of the exercise physiologist duties since we share a lot of the same patients," Hutchinson added.

Occasionally, Hutchinson sends her physical therapy patients to the HAWC for continued rehabilitation.

The purpose of the HAWC is to support military members and their families through fitness and nutrition and to help them find a path to take towards attaining their personal goals, said Tech. Sgt. Stephanie Garner, 39th MDOS nutritionist.

"We help people develop healthy nutrition and exercise routines and habits," she explained.

The HAWC is a great extension and support system for the medical group, Hutchinson said. The center provides several ways of educating people on health and wellness.

It offers the BE WELL course, weight control and smoking cessation classes as well as gait and push-up analysis.

It also helps with stress management by offering a relaxation and water massage room, Gardner said.

Though budget cuts may affect some areas, fitness will always play a vital role in the Air Force mission, Garner emphasized. The HAWC will continue to provide means to meet those health and wellness needs.