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‘Blast Off to Better Health’ – Counting steps at AUSA forum

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Over one million steps were counted during the inaugural step-counting competition at the Association of the U. S. Army’s Global Force Symposium and Exhibition held recently at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Five hundred and fifty participants signed up for the “Blast Off to Better Health” promotion, a partnership between AUSA and the Army’s Office of The Surgeon General’s Performance Triad (P3) initiative.

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Overall walking challenge winner Irina Nguyen, PEO Enterprise Information Systems, right, posted an amazing 62,438 steps, and Bonnie Maciorski of the Huntsville Police Dept. took third place with 50,172 steps. (AUSA News photo by Luc Dunn)

“The health and wellness of our members and symposium participants are of utmost importance to us,” said AUSA’s Alex Brody, deputy director, meetings.

Adding, “With an average stride – about 2 1/2 feet per step – it takes about 700 steps to walk from one end of the Von Braun Center to another. We thought, why not encourage exercising during the three-day event by making it fun and competitive.

We struck a chord with our attendees and we hope to replicate the challenge at AUSA’s Annual Meeting and Exposition in October.”

The overall three-day winner was Irina Nguyen, PEO Enterprise Information Systems, Fort Belvoir, Va., who posted an amazing 62,438 steps over the three-day period.

Runners-up were Lisa Lattimore, Army Materiel Command, Huntsville, Ala., 53,101 steps, and Bonnie Maciorski, Huntsville Police Dept., 50,172 steps.

Complementing the competition, Army Medicine staffed a Health and Fitness Lounge in the East Hall featuring exercise training and nutrition tips, a massage therapist, and an area to practice mindfulness activities – all activities connected to the core components of P3: Activity, Nutrition, and Sleep.

The Army, through the leadership of the Office of The Surgeon General, created the P3 campaign to promote optimal sleep, activity and nutrition Army-wide.

The target audience includes soldiers, Department of the Army (DA) civilians, family members, pre-retirees and retirees.

P3 is intended to educate and influence this audience to improve the members’ sleep behaviors, increase daily activity and improve nutrition.

These three key components directly impact cognitive, emotional and physical performance – and influence overall health.

A forum titled: “Army Medicine: An Update on the Military Health System” was also held on the second day of the symposium.

Brig. Gen. Ronald J. Place, special assistant to the Army surgeon general, shared details of the changes to military medicine as prescribed by the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.

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Brig. Gen. Ronald Place shared details of the changes to military medicine during a forum at the 2017 AUSA Global Force Symposium and Exposition. (AUSA photo)

A significant change: Changing TRICARE Standard/Extra to TRICARE Select which includes a network of providers you can access without a referral.

The caveat? Anyone entering the service on or after Jan. 1, 2018, will face higher out-of-pocket fees.

Additional changes include the ability to access Urgent Care without a referral, vision care, a 24/7 appointment line, and streamlined access to specialty care.

To learn more click here: https://www.ausa.org/news/1-december-2016-legislative-news-update