Story by Leticia Cunningham on 09/24/2019Operation Health and Readiness Optimization, or Operation HeRO, is a new Air Force Health Promotion initiative that is being implemented this fall by the 55th Medical Group's Health Promotion Office at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.
Operation HeRO is intended to improve the health and readiness of Airmen by bringing initiatives to them in their unit work centers that help them solve personal challenges.
The HPO and 55th MDG plan to team up with unit commanders to implement the campaign. Their goal is to improve nutrition, sleep, physical activity habits, and tobacco and alcohol behaviors of Airmen and help them understand how these affect mission readiness.
"Operation HeRO is meant to solve problems in areas Airmen may need additional focus on," said Col. Gavin Marks, 55th Wing commander, "and the health and wellness of our Airmen is one of my highest priorities. Our readiness depends on being physically and mentally resilient and this program will help with that."
The HPO is striving to create an environment that encourages healthy behaviors and providing members with the tools, knowledge and the support necessary to improve in the areas they need to most.
To achieve their objectives, the HP office is compiling data to identify the largest threats to Team Offutt's health and readiness. Additionally, this data is being used to tailor plans specific to each work center to bring awareness to areas requiring immediate attention.
Team Offutt members will be asked to complete pre and post campaign surveys when their unit is partnered with HPO. The data being collected will be used as a benchmark for comparison as the HeRO campaign progresses.
"It's important for leaders to know they do not have to wait until we partner with them to start making a difference," said Roger Nelson, HPO director. "We already have classes, programs and services available after normal duty hours to improve the health and readiness of their troops."
A special program the HPO provides is called the HeRO Challenge. It provides recognition for those who demonstrate commitment to their health and readiness and the well-being of others by completing a body composition appointment, taking eight HPO classes and a volunteer event.
"We greatly appreciate commander's support of this program," said Nelson.
All HPO classes are available to all military, retirees, Department of Defense civilians, contractors and family members. The classes range from assistance on training specifically for the Air Force Physical Fitness Assessment to aging gracefully or managing stress.
The HPO is located in building 4209 directly behind the 55th MDG clinic to its west side. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Upcoming class schedules can be viewed online under photos at http://g.page/offutt-55mdg-health-promotion. Those interested should call 402-294-5977 as pre-registration is necessary for attending classes.
Specific classes include:
Fitness Assessment Specific Training: provides guidance on specific training for the Physical Fitness Assessment.
Mastering Motivation: Helps develop proactive habits and overcome procrastination.
Eating, Exercising & Thriving: strategies for successful weight loss, through nutrition and exercise and behavior changes. Additional two other classes available.
Sleep is King: The importance of sleep to both mind and body, and how to improve it.
Stress to Strength: new approach to overturning stress so that you can thrive.
Emotional Control: developing self-control over emotions, such as sadness, insecurity and anger.
Commissary Smart Shopping Tour: interactive tour of food sections, learning healthy eating options, and how to navigate store wisely.
Aging Gracefully: Aging for the mind and body, addressing physical and mental health concerns