Commentary by Col. Nick Piantanida
Director of Medical Management, Evans Army Community Hospital
Fort Carson’s senior leaders are committed to aligning modernized infrastructure with enduring Army priorities. The Forrest Fitness Center is scheduled to begin a landmark transformation into the Forrest Resiliency Center Sept. 6.
This transformation will provide resiliency services as part of a world-class health experience focused on mind, body and spiritual wellness. Scheduled to open in April, the Forrest Resiliency Center will be the cornerstone of a Mountain Post Resiliency Campus that includes a super gym, a behavioral health facility and a child development center.
After 10 years of combat, the Army’s Soldiers and Families have long required a centralized facility that brings a variety of resiliency services together. This facility will partner installation programs, resources, technologies and passionate practitioners. It will house an expanded wellness clinic that provides healthy lifestyle programs to all Soldiers, Families and retirees. In addition, Fort Carson’s Department of Defense civilians can benefit from the Civilian Wellness Program.
Self-referral to the programs remains a valued and favored method.
Health services include blood pressure monitoring, cardio-health management, tobacco cessation assistance and behavioral change instruction.
Primary care provider referrals are encouraged for weight management services, including the Personal Wellness Profile and Group Lifestyle Balanced Program, as well as exercise prescription or running-shoe assessments.
The Forrest Resiliency Center will be home to a new performance team comprised of a strength coach, athletic trainer and sports medicine physician. Before deploying, 17 percent of a brigade combat team’s Soldiers can be considered “medically not ready.” Of those, 70 percent of their problems are usually related to musculoskeletal issues. The performance team will work with unit providers to deliver and promote resilience-building programs and practices to enhance performance and combat effectiveness.
The Forrest Resiliency Center will also offer stress management and relaxation services. These classes and programs are core to the resiliency “mind” initiative to use inclusive and synergistic strategies to develop resiliency. Additionally, chaplains will be in the Forrest Resiliency Center for counseling and mediation. Resiliency “spirit” support completes the comprehensive approach to this initiative.
Forrest Fitness Center is quickly approaching its next mission as it will be closed Sept. 6 for upgrade and transformation.
The Fort Carson community is invited to celebrate the arrival of the Forrest Resiliency Center with all of its expanded Soldier and Family services in April. For more information, contact Jerriann Hance at 526-8192 or firstname.lastname@example.org.