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HAWC staff offers many services

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- With a staff of experts in health, fitness and nutrition, the McConnell Air Force Base Health and Wellness Center, more commonly referred to as the HAWC, primarily focuses on disease prevention.

Lou Stadler, the Health Promotion Flight chief, said they approach disease prevention in a variety of ways including fitness, nutrition and behavior modification.

The HAWC, that's services are available to anyone with base access, has three cornerstone programs, the Air Force fitness program, nutritional medicine and tobacco cessation. Whether it is training fitness leaders, or providing guidance on healthy eating choices, their focus is always on incorporating fitness and wellness into the lives of Team McConnell members.

"The cruel reality is, if we don't maintain a healthy lifestyle, we can succumb to disease at an early age," Mr. Stadler said. "Being healthy, you feel better, can do your job better, can live longer and are generally a more productive member of society. It pays to keep your self healthy."

The HAWC offers more than 10 programs offered that have proven to be beneficial to many people.

For example, it has a lending library that includes educational books, videos and compact discs on fitness, nutrition and all disease prevention topics. Other programs offered are stress relievers like the relaxation room that is available with a massage chair, fish tank and calming music.

The running shoe clinic was designed to educate individuals on the proper selection of running shoes based on biomechanics, bodyweight and training. This particular program proved to be highly successful for one Airman.

"I used the HAWC for the running shoe clinic. I was shown how I was running with my old shoes and how I was running without shoes," said Airman 1st Class Jerry Combs, 22nd Medical Group. "I was then told what pair of running shoes would best fit me. The new shoes helped me out tremendously. It even approved my (mile-and-a-half) run time by one minute."

The HAWC also lends a hand each year to the Wing Fitness Day, Retiree Health Fair and Youth Health Fair, among many other events.

The team of experts at the HAWC is a group of advocates for a fit and ready force in a variety of ways as they are "an integral function for community wellness and a center of excellence for health education and training," said Mr. Stadler.

For more information on the HAWC, located in the Robert J. Dole Community Center, call 759-6024 Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.