FORT BELVOIR, Va. (June 14) -- Garrison employees learned
about a new fitness program during the Quarterly Community
Health Promotion Council meeting June 12 in the Army
Management Staff College Seminar Room.
The initiative, Civilian Health and Fitness program, is a
six month plan designed to encourage employees to exercise
and eat healthy.
Participants are granted one hour of administrative leave
three times per week to perform Directorate of Family and
Morale, Welfare and Recreation sports and fitness team
approved exercises such as walking, weight training and
Supervisors must approve leave time, which can occur at
anytime, including an hour added to 30 minute lunch
Full time garrison appropriated and non-appropriated fund
employees are eligible to participate, while flex schedule
workers, contractors and firefighters are not.
"The intent of the program is to get people energized
about fitness and wellness," said Sheila Edwards,
DFWMR fitness director, who explained the program is
designed to create a fitness habit for employees.
"It's to jumpstart you possibly continuing that
healthy lifestyle after six months."
The Community Health Promotion Council meets quarterly to
discuss, education, and awareness training in reference to
the Fort Belvoir community.
Soldiers and Department of Defense employees listened to
information provided by DFMWR and other organizations such
as the Army Substance Abuse and Prevention program and the
Employee Assistance Program.
Representatives from the garrison offices provided
information regarding workplace wellness tips on topics
ranging from suicide prevention to handling performance
Mica Koefod, DFWMR fitness program specialist, presented
the fitness program and discussed the two different courses
for the program -- individual and structured.
Employees in the individual course are expected to
independently perform their workout regimen while keeping
track of their progress. Sign-ups for the individual course
start July 1.
Sign-ups for the structured program are tentatively
scheduled for August 2012 on a first come, first served,
Koefod said the structured course is designed to help
employees develop personal workout routines.
"We want to provide this program as extra incentive
for people who might not have the knowledge, who are a
little uneasy with exercise or just want to learn
more," Koefod said. "This will be catered to
those individuals who would like some extra help."
Participants will receive nutritional instruction, premade
workouts and are required to attend a health fair and
complete three fitness assessments during the course.
"We want to see if this program is working for people
because, if not, we want to change some things to make sure
people are getting the most out it," Koefod said.
The fitness plan presentation was the first during the
Health Promotion Council.
Katina Oates, Employee Assistance Program program manager,
followed DFMWR with a discussion about the EAP.
The program provides free counseling services to employees
suffering from issues such as depression, anxiety, Family
issues and abusive relationships.
"There can be several circumstances occurring in your
life that, when you come to work, you don't feel as
productive," Oates said "You may require a person
to pinpoint and assess the critical problems you're
facing and that person would be myself."
Oates said she teaches stress management techniques to help
employees perform better at work and feel better at
"Right now in the workplace, stress is the number one
problem," Oates said.
Appropriated and non appropriated funded Department of
Defense civilians, retired military, and Family members of
these employees and active duty military can use the EAP
Milagros Frank, ASAP suicide prevention manager, continued
the discussion on workforce morale by urging employees to
seek help for themselves or others considering suicide.
Frank encouraged employees to express concern to colleagues
who display changes in behavior and mood.
"Also let them know that you're there to listen.
Most people all they want is somebody to listen. You're
not going solve their problems, just listen. Sometimes
that's all it takes," Frank said.
Frank said employees can call the National Suicide
Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK if they or a colleague
is considering suicide. Frank said employees can also call
• For information on the suicide prevention program, call
• For information on the Employee Assistance Program, call
• For information on the Civilian Health and Fitness
program, call (703) 806-5589.