Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) Bremerton was announced as a 2019 winner of the Navy Surgeon General’s “Blue H” Health Promotion and Wellness Award at the Gold Star level Oct. 2 by the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.
The annual award, coordinated by the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center, was received for excellence in workplace health promotion policies, activities and outcomes.
Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham, U.S. Navy Surgeon General and Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, annually recognizes such commands as NMRTC Bremerton in the medical treatment facility category for excellence in clinical primary prevention services, community health promotion, and medical staff health. Crucial health topics provided to staff and patients included focus on responsible drinking, violence and injury free living, healthy eating, active living, psychological health, sexual health, tobacco free living, and weight management.
“The honor of receiving the Gold Star Blue H means that NMRTC Bremerton collectively achieves and maintains excellence in primary prevention by planning and executing a comprehensive health promotion plan,” said Nancy Henry, NMRTC Bremerton’s Health Promotion coordinator.
Lt. Lorna Brown, NMRTC Bremerton’s Nutrition Management department head as well as a registered dietician and certified breast feeding specialist, agreed with Henry, saying that the Blue H represents a high level of communication between health promotion specialists and their beneficiaries.
“The Blue H is the Navy’s way of signaling to beneficiaries that when they talk to the staff in our health promotion department, they can be assured that the programs we promote are based on a certain level of local feedback we received, which is why the award is so heavily weighted,” said Brown.
If the Gold Star Blue H is the end result of a year’s worth of planning and executing, it begins with an annual, internal survey called the Health Risk Assessment (HRA).
“Every medical unit has a health promotion representative,” said Brown. “Their job is to figure out what the command or unit is struggling with regarding health. Are we seeing a lot of people getting diabetes? Is weight gain an issue? Are there mental health and resilience issues? The health promotion representative needs to know these things. Where that person devotes their time is based off the yearly Health Risk Assessment. I need at least 50 percent of the command to take this survey, otherwise it doesn’t help me or the command at all.”
Brown said the HRA is the cornerstone of the yearly health promotion plan. It helps her and her department determine where to throw their effort over the course of the year.
“When people take that HRA, it tells me if they’re eating their fruits and vegetables, if they’re overweight, if they’re drinking too much, if they smoke; I get all kinds of data that helps me tailor programs throughout the year to fit their needs,” said Brown. “If I don’t get that feedback, I can still promote the programs. But in many ways I’m in the dark as to what the service members are struggling with.”
The HRA is the catalyst for the precise dissemination of a vast array of information by the nutrition management department. Brown said that her department’s bread and butter comes in the form of medical nutritional assessments with topics ranging from supplement safety to weight management, as well as diabetes, heart health and even sports nutrition.
Brown also mentioned that a big percentage of her time is spent managing incorrect information gathered online.
“There’s a lot of misinformation out there due to at-home internet research,” said Brown. “I’ve found people can get themselves into a bit of a conundrum with what’s right and wrong, and what they should and shouldn’t believe. We use nutritional science to help people make the best decisions so that they’re mission ready warfighters.”
“One of the most common pieces of misinformation involves supplements in the military,” she said. “There’s a lot of education that needs to be done there. We sometimes think that if we buy a product on base, it’s safe. I’ve done evaluations of plenty of products sold at the Navy Exchange and commissary, many contain items we shouldn’t be taking.”
“Another issue is fad diets, said Brown. “What I and other dieticians have seen is that most people want a quick fix; it seems rare that someone will want to take the time to lose weight the right way. I like to give people the information and science, but at the end of the day, it’s up to them to proceed how they’d like. For me, it’s ‘patient first, safety first.’”
According to Brown, health promotions isn’t just about meeting dietary needs. They also offer a host of specific guidance and information on topics such as blood pressure management, summer safety education, heart health, alcohol and drug abuse prevention, and tobacco and vaping cessation.
Although the ongoing pandemic outbreak brought a halt to many health promotion activities, Brown said that they are still doing what they can to reach out to staff and patient alike.
“COVID-19 has had many people and programs in a bit of a holding pattern,” said Brown. “But now that we’re starting to find our new normal, we’re beginning to figure out how we can best serve our beneficiaries in this new environment. If people need to get a hold of us, they can always call the Nutrition Clinic (360-475-4541) or Health Promotion (360-475-4997) to self-refer for, say, weight management, or just basic nutrition info.”
“If they have some kind of chronic or acute disease going on, we recommend getting a referral from their family physician or provider just so everyone is aware of what the patient needs and is doing,” Brown added. “We’re also working on migrating a lot of our classes virtually due to COVID-19, so people won’t even need to leave their houses to get this info firsthand. That’s where we’re headed in the very near future.”
To inquire about or sign up for upcoming Nutrition Clinic classes at NMRTC Bremerton, email email@example.com.
|Date Posted:||10.18.2020 11:49|
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