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Promotional Health section ensures healthy living

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Solomon Cook
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The health and wellness of Airmen has been paramount throughout the history of the Air Force and the success of its mission. Tyndall is dedicated to taking care of the physical and nutritional needs of Airmen and their families.

The professionals of the 325th Medical Group Health Promotion section located in the Base Gym, provide assistance and tutelage of active duty members, retirees and dependents through a series of classes to help assist in keeping Airmen fit to fight.

“Health Promotion is a new branding and concept of operations of the once established Health and wellness centers back in 1995,” said Robert Pagenkopf, 325th MDG Health Promotion program coordinator. “In 2014, Health Promotion became the new designated for prevention of health related conditions for obesity, tobacco use and any other metabolic conditions.”

The section uses the science of health, partnered with the amenities available at the base gym, to tend to the individual needs of those that attend the classes, from informational briefs to interactive classes.

 “We are health professionals that are more reliable than simply searching the internet,” said Spencer Webb, 325th MDG registered dietitian. “We can research individualized plans for people rather than just pulling something off the internet. Using just the internet can lead to a nonscientific approach.

“There are different classes with different levels of involvement. There are ‘one-off’ classes or weekly classes that can be from one to three hours long. We hit both behavioral and nutritional concepts giving the classes a multifaceted approach,” he added.

Pagenkopf believes health promotion is important to optimize health, performance and readiness for Airmen, decrease chronic disease risks and muscular related injury.

“We offer classes or evidence based programs such as run clinic, tobacco cessation, assistance with sleeping better, healthy eating classes, sports nutrition and healthy weight intervention program called Waist Management,” he said.

To figuratively and literally drive the message home, some of the classes require the completion of homework in the form of handouts and workbooks between classes.

“Most of our classes are about changing behaviors and establishing healthy habits,” Pagenkopf explained. “To make this happen they need to build skills and practice to be consistence such as food, exercise, stress and sleep tracking for self and guided feedback.”

In addition to the voluntary classes, the section also provides other services that can be utilized by commanders or others in need.

“We offer additional programs for commanders and their wellness programs, nutrition environment assessments, Healthy Military youth 5-2-1-0 campaign and community outreach initiatives such as health info fairs. Health Promotion is mobile as well, and we will come to any unit upon request to hold a class, briefing for a specific health topic,” Pagenkopf said.

As this section continues to provide trusted, scientific advice to their participants, they look forward to seeing new members in classes.

For more information, call the Health Promotion office at (850) 283-3826.