NEWS | Dec. 6, 2018

452nd Combat Support Hospital showcases clinic capabilities

By Staff Sgt. Charlotte Reavis 143d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)

Members of the military are often thought of as tough, physically capable, ‘lean, mean, fighting machines.’ Well, even ‘machines’ need proper care and nutrition to stay well maintained.

The 452nd Combat Support Hospital, based out of Fort Snelling, Minn., hosted a “Health and Wellness Week”, beginning with a health fair, Dec. 2, in the Zone 1 gym, here. The fair showcased different clinics of the hospital, including optometry, dental, nutrition, physical therapy and more.

“We are doing blood pressure screenings, blood sugar screenings, we are offering optometry, we have the dental clinic here, behavioral health, spiritual health,” said Maj. Justin Washington, a Registered Dietician with the CSH as well as one of the fair organizers. “Then we have the wellness part where we talk about nutrition and performance.”

Servicemembers and civilians alike were able to interact with the providers and staff of the hospital, so they could ask questions or get additional information. Each booth also had different activities related to the booth’s topic. 

“I work in the physical therapy clinic,” said Spc. Kristine Paulfranz, a physical therapy technician with the 452nd. “We are providing a functional movement screening to break down movement patterns to work on, whether that is flexibility or strengthening, and what they need to fix in terms of injury prevention.”

Washington stated that soldiers who wanted additional information or testing could schedule appointments with the clinic during the fair or they could walk in to the clinic later. Depending on the clinic, however, you may need to go to sick call or the hospital to see a provider and receive a referral for care first.

“We want the people here to know what is available to them,” said Paulfranz. “For example, in physical therapy, we provide vestibular services, joint soft tissue mobilization, shoulder, knee, and back classes, aquatic therapy and more that you can have access to after you get a referral from a provider.”

Both soldiers stated injury prevention is a big focus of the services the clinics provides. Paulfranz stated the goal is to give soldiers the steps and tools to reinforce correct movement patterns and function whether they are training, out in the field, on a mission, or in the gym.

“When we say health, it is a general word,” Washington said. “What we are really looking at is how do you function mentally, how do you function physically and what affects will it have on your body when we don’t focus on those things.”

Washington stated mental health affects physical health and nutrition can impact both of those so putting the focus on improving the parts you need to, will improve your overall health.

“When we are able to put that focus altogether,” Washington said. “Especially like this in one wellness fair, someone is able to walk away and have that full connection of what parts they really need to work on or what benefit they have received. It improves the readiness overall of all of our DoD civilians and soldiers.”

Washington stated there will be more health fairs in the future at various locations around Kuwait, in addition to luncheons and other functions, here, to give soldiers more chances to learn about how to improve their health and prevent injury.