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Regional council launches new way to get EEO-savvy

    What you don't know about EEO policies may amaze you. It may hurt your success and those around you, as well.

    Learn about strategies for EEO-friendly workplaces, ideas from the corporate world, trends in the law, and other timely issues Wednesday, May 14, at the first Equal Employment Opportunity Regional Strategic Conference here at Collins Hall.

    The workshop, sponsored by the Central Pennsylvania Regional EEO Council, is designed to let participants create a customized training agenda. All those who manage or work with federal civilian employees are invited to build their understanding of EEO and diversity at the conference. Participants will represent the Naval Supply Systems Command and other activities at Mechanicsburg, Fort Detrick, Defense Distribution Center at New Cumberland, Letterkenny Army Depot and Carlisle Barracks.

     A $25 registration fee includes continental breakfast, lunch and coffee/pastries throughout the day. Reservations can be made with Tom Clement at the ITR Office near the Commissary or by calling 717 245-3309. A $9 option is available for those who can attend only the working lunch session.

    Keynoter Claiborne Haughton will speak during the working lunch; lunch-only tickets are $9.

    The former director of the Defense Department's Civilian Equal Employment Opportunity Program, Haughton has a reputation as a dynamic and inspirational speaker, said Ernie Lopez, the post's EEO director, who invites the entire workforce to come and hear a different perspective. Haughton was born with cerebral palsy and blindness in one eye, and spent 12 years as a war of Louisiana in the Blundon Orphanage Home. He earned a Bachelor Degree from Dillard University and a Master of Public Administration from American University. His many service awards include the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Civilian Service.

     The Central Pennsylvania Regional EEO Council is an interagency consortium of EEO managers and advisors. The group expects this to be a first annual conference with a strategic approach to Equal Employment Opportunity, said Lopez. The power of the conference will come from sharing ideas from other installations, from DoD and from the business world, he added. For schedule details, contact Denise Bagby at Carlisle Barracks EEO, 717-245-3151.

 

 

Staff Sgt. Jeffrey T. Ege, Public Affairs Office

9/11's Flight 93 to be linked with 2003 Arbor, Earth Day, Tree City USA ceremony 

 

 

    April 25, 2003 --The passengers of United Airlines Flight 93, which went down near Shanksville, Pa., on Sept. 11th, will forever be linked to this year's April 25 Arbor Day, Earth Day, and Tree City USA ceremony at Commandant's Grove on post.

    A tree from the field where the flight crashed was planted in the grove as part of the ceremony which celebrated Arbor and Earth days, and recognized Carlisle Barracks as a Tree City USA for the 12th consecutive year and as a recipient of the Tree City USA Growth Award for the seventh year.

    The State Forestry Office presents the Tree City USA award to communities that develop and maintain comprehensive urban forestry programs.

    "With the high level of commitment Carlisle Barracks has shown to its urban forests, it has had to work hard year after year to improve upon that," said State Forester Bruce Kyle during the event. It is due to the post's continued efforts at improving the conditions of its urban forest areas that the post was awarded the Growth Award in addition to the Tree City USA award, Bruce said.

    "Working with and maintaining forests can be challenging," said Tom Kelly, Public Works director. "We put a lot into maintaining our wooded areas on Carlisle Barracks."

    Deputy garrison commander Maj. Walter Kilmer read a proclamation officially naming the day as Arbor Day for the post.

    Smokey Bear assisted preschoolers from the post's Moore Child Development Center sing "This Land is Your Land" to further commemorate the event.

    Five-year-old preschoolers Glenna Sorrell, McKenna Kleeman, and Jonathan Charette then helped Smokey Bear plant the special tree.

 

 

Staff Sgt. Jeffrey T. Ege, Public Affairs Office

Hard work recognized at quarterly ceremony

 

 

   April 24, 2003 -- It was standing room only at the Letort View Community Center as members of the Carlisle Barracks community gathered to reward those post employees who went above and beyond the call of duty the second quarter of fiscal 2003 during the April 24 Installation Quarterly Awards Ceremony.

    Maj. Gen. Robert R. Ivany, post commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. David Roman, post command sergeant major, awarded the individuals who received recognition.

    "We've done a lot we've never done before, and it's taken some hard work by a lot of people," Ivany said. "We're here to recognize those people."

    Randy Rakers, security manager for the Military History Institute here, Civilian of the Year for 2002, was presented with a Commander's Award for Civilian Service, a 24-Hour Time Off Award, an Association of the U.S. Army plaque, and a Commandant's Coin.

    The noncommissioned Officer of the Quarter for the second quarter of fiscal 2003, Sgt. Roy Carte, was not available to receive recognition due to attendance at the Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course. Upon his return, he will receive an Army Achievement Medal, a $100 savings bond, Army and Air Force Exchange Service coupons, an AUSA plaque, and a Commandant's Coin.

    Soldiers of the Quarter for the first and second quarters of fiscal 2003, Spc. John Start and Spc. Demitrius Palmer, respectively, were present and received the same items specified for Carte.

    Iris Baker, Civilian of the Quarter for the second quarter of fiscal 2003, was awarded an Achievement Medal for Civilian Service, a U.S. Army Garrison Commander's Watch, a savings bond, and a Commandant's Coin.

    The Joint Service Achievement Award was given to post newcomer Spc. James E. Partin, military policeman with the Provost Marshal's Office, for duty at his previous assignment at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe.

    The following individuals were recognized for work done in support of the Army and Air Force Warfighter Conference.

  • Sgt. 1st Class Marjorie A. Cowan (absent from ceremony): Army Achievement Medal

  • Sgt. Alf Alexis:  USAWC Certificate

  • Spc. Steven Beri:  USAWC Certificate

  • Spc. John Stark:  USAWC Certificate

  • Spc. Thomas Winhoven:  USAWC Certificate

  • Pfc. Nicholas Pier:  USAWC Certificate

  • Kim Gardner:  Achievement Medal for Civilian Service and Commandant's Coin

  • Werner Heinemann:  Chief of Staff of the Army Coin

  • Anna Moyer:  Chief of Staff of the Army Coin

  • Bruce Miller:  Commandant's Coin

  • Devon Stockdale:  Commandant's Coin

  • Amber Fanestock (absent from ceremony):  Commandant's Coin

  • Gerri Breitenbach:  Commandant's Coin

  • Pauline Smith:  Commandant's Coin

 

    The following individuals were recognized for having earned Unit Prevention Leader Training Program Certificates.

  • Mr. Larry J. Clark (absent from ceremony)

  • Sgt. Kamesha Dave-Tucker

  • Sgt. Ronald E. Garris

  • Sgt. Richard M. Moffett

  • Sgt. Tina M. Paton

  • Sgt. James P. Payne

  • Sgt. Andres Rivera

  • Sgt. Walter J. Szpara

 

    The following individuals were awarded Certificates of Achievement for volunteering to act as role-players during a recent post force protection exercise.

  • Sgt. Williams L. Ross

  • Sgt. Carl D. Whittaker (absent from ceremony)

  • Spc. Louis A. Bonilla

  • Spc. Petergaye A. Campbell (absent from ceremony)

  • Spc. Marshall Etienne

  • Spc. Scott D. Fees

  • Spc. Aaron A. Hasenbein

  • Spc. Demitrius L. Palmer

  • Snavly Fenelon

  • Susan Wise

 

    The following individuals were awarded Length of Service Awards.

  • Larry Kerstetter:  35 years of service

  • Edward Beam:  30 years of service

  • Jim Aiello:  30 years of service

  • Marc Berard:  15 years of service

 

   

Vera Colpo, Carlisle Barracks TRICARE Service Center employee, was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by Capt. Roger Lance of Co. C, 1st Battalion, 127th Armor for going above and beyond to help Lance and one of his soldiers with complicated TRICARE-related medical billing issues.

    The following general schedule (GS) civilian employees were rewarded for their hard work by being awarded monetary bonuses under the Commanding General's Bonus Program.

  • Joanne Glover

  • Tonya S. Heinbaugh

  • Anne K. Hurst

  • Christine Metcalfe

  • Thomas Zimmerman

 

Sgt. Shaun Peeler, Public Affairs Office

Post recognizes those who give their time freely April 21

 

 

 

    April 24, 2003 --Volunteerism is a big part of the reason Carlisle Barracks is as great a place as it is, according to Maj. Gen. Robert Ivany, U.S. Army War College commandant.

    "This is a great installation because you do so much," said Ivany to post volunteers April 21 during the Carlisle Barracks Volunteer Recognition Luncheon at the Letort View Community Center here. 

     "You take the time to touch people and that makes a big difference," he said.

    Individuals were honored for freely giving their spare time to help at Youth Services, the chapel, the tax center, and to organize plays, to name a couple.

    Thirty-four people, civilian and military, were recognized during the luncheon and given Commandant Certificates of Appreciation for volunteering their time to help at locations such as Child and Youth Services, USAWC Memorial Chapel, the post tax center, and for helping organize plays.

    The Youth Volunteer of the Year Award was given to Tara Myers. Myers volunteered more than 450 hours working with School Age Services and Youth Sports. Myers said she enjoys volunteering with the children.

    "I have a lot of fun working with children," said Myers. "You can make them so happy by doing the smallest thing. That's what I like about volunteering. The awards don't mean anything."

    Sgt. 1st Class Kimberly Rogers, Volunteer of the Year, said that even though the award made her speechless, she feels the same as Myers.

    "I'm not looking for any awards or recognition; they don't mean anything," explained Rogers. "I just like to help out and get involved with as many things as I can. I just like to help people."

    Rogers was spotlighted for her work with the Red Cross Blood Drive, the Family Action Plan Symposium, Youth Services, the Christmas Angel Tree Project, and numerous committees.

    Volunteers like Myers and Rogers have volunteered more than  78,360 hours of their time, saving the installation $1,723,931.

     Lt. Col. John Koivisto, garrison commander, thanked the volunteers for their time and effort.

    "We couldn't do what we do at Carlisle Barracks without you," Koivisto said. "We depend on volunteers a lot at this post, and we thank you for your hard work."

    Recognized at the luncheon were:

  • SFC Kimberly Rogers

  • SFC Denise Whitaker

  • SSG Marcella Love

  • SPC Ahmand Brown

  • Col. Jacqueline Cumbo

  • Tara Myers

  • Mr. Don Shultz                                                                         

  • Denise Bagby

  • Carolyn Osborn                                                             

  • Edward "Woodie" Collins             

  • Renee Napolitano                    

  • Nicholas Mineo                         

  • Josh Barnes                             

  • Bill Bartashus

  • David Lukefahr                          

  • Bill Stoup                                 

  • Melissa Peterson

  • Allen Ferguson             

  • Louise Cobourn

  • Felicia Quinn                            

  • Ashley Roe                              

  • Janine Farson

  • Mr.and Mrs. Bill and Ann Irwin                

  • Gary Evans                              

  • Naomi Prendergast                  

  • Marianne Ivany                          

  • Jeff Crampton

  • Betsy Koivisto                          

  • Theresa Riskis

  • Kathy Barrows                          

  • Dave Myers

  • Holly Smith

  • Pat Lovett

 

 

Lt. Col. Carol Kerr, Public Affairs Office

Claremont gate opens for exit 7-7 daily

Tight security gets easier to live with

 

    April 23, 2003 -- Tire spikes are installed, and that's good news for those who can now exit the post at the Claremont Road gate.

    The entry gate at Claremont is currently open for exiting traffic from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. The new-found freedom for drivers comes with a few limits. The exit is for right turns only. The posted 5 mph signs must be obeyed to avoid ticketing and to avoid road damage. And, drivers must not back up over the tire shredder.

    The exit operations followed some tests by Public Works and Provost Marshal workers to ensure that it did not damage exiting vehicles, said Maj. Jim Peterson, Provost Marshal. The guard will monitor traffic flow to identify potential problems as drivers get used to the news system, he said.

    Traffic counts will help the PMO decide whether the hours are appropriate.  

    Heavy vehicles like semi-trailers and buses will continue to be routed out the Ashburn Drive exit to prevent excessive stress on the road sections, said Gary Hunst, PMO physical security manager.  In addition to the warning signs and 5 mph sign, drivers will see a 5-ton weight limit sign. 

    The Claremont gate tire shredder is the latest upgrade to force protection at Carlisle Barracks. After 9/11, the first year was marked by rapid response to safeguard employees and residents with manpower - Army civilian guards and Reserve Component unit - and then with physical means like barriers and other safeguards.

    Looking good and living well while staying secure is on track for the second year.

    The "planter" barriers will soon be topped with the plants and flowers planted last year. Black gates at Root Hall and other spots recede visually and let the beauty of Carlisle Barracks landscaping catch the eye. Green-coated fencing recently completed the perimeter fence.

   "We're trying to remove as many of the barriers as possible," said Peterson. "The plan is to replace the cement jersey barriers with cabling on the outside of the driving lanes at Claremont gate." The barriers between driving lanes will stay in place, and are due for a paint job, he added.

    Employees can once again take the short cut from Root Hall over the patio to Upton Hall. Those with 24-hour programmed badges can access the "hall of flags" entrance to Root Hall on duty days from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. when a guard is on duty. Those without a badge can pass through the unlocked doors of the hall of flags during duty hours.

NOTE:  For questions about badging, contact security manager E. J. Nichols at 245-4188.

 

Maj. Merideth Bucher, Public Affairs Officer

Three Soldiers Face Drug Charges

  Carlisle Barracks, Pa. -- Three soldiers assigned to Carlisle Barracks face charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice as a result of a joint investigation by the Cumberland County Drug Task Force, the Carlisle Barracks office of the Army Criminal Investigation Command, and the Carlisle Barracks Military Police Investigations section.

     Garrison Commander Lt. Col. John Koivisto preferred charges against Sgt. Aaron Bowen, 23, which include the wrongful distribution of marijuana, the wrongful possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon. 

      Also charged is Sgt. Chrishaun B. Peeler, 24, with wrongful possession and unlawful use of marijuana and Spec. Gary L. Harvey, 25, charged with being an accessory after the fact and as an accessory to distribute marijuana.  

    The charges against the three soldiers are allegations and each is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.   

    Some of the UCMJ charges against Bowen parallel charges in Cumberland County and are based on the same alleged misconduct that occurred off the installation and resulted in his arrest on March 12.  

    Neither Peeler or Harvey have been charged by Cumberland County authorities, however the military charges against them do arise from information gathered during that investigation.   

    Soldiers can be charged with the same crime by military and state authorities.  While generally similar, there are differences between the UCMJ and most state criminal statutes.   

    All three soldiers are assigned to Carlisle Barracks.  Bowen and Harvey are employed in computer support operations in Collins Hall and Peeler works in the Public Affairs office. 

    The charges are now forwarded to the installation commander at Fort George G. Meade, Md. who will determine the appropriate course of action.  

    Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, a commander may choose disciplinary action from a range of options.

    A commanders options include  adverse administrative action resulting in a formal reprimand or involuntary discharge from the Army.  The commander may elect non-judicial punishment - an Article 15 - which may result in reduction in rank, loss of pay, and certain restrictions. The commander may exercise UCMJ authority for a court martial, with punishments that include a reduction in rank, punitive discharge from the Army, forfeiture of pay, or possible confinement. 

    No charge or specification may be referred to a general court-martial for trial until a thorough and impartial investigation of all the matters set forth has been made.   

    Questions should be directed to the U.S. Army War College Public Affairs Office, (717)-245-4772.  Public Affairs contact at Fort Meade is 301-677-1361.

 

 

Bonnie Powell, Defense Commissary Agency

May is Commissary Awareness Month

 

    May is the second annual Commissary Awareness Month, but many of America's armed service members are deployed overseas. Is that like having a party that no one can attend?

    Never fear. "Deployed service members may not need to worry about trips to the commissary, but educating military families and new arrivals about commissary shopping is more important now than ever," said Kaye Kennedy, chief of corporate communications for the Defense Commissary Agency. "Guard and Reserve personnel are being activated in increasing numbers, sometimes losing a higher paying civilian paycheck. The changes can be traumatic, both emotionally and financially."

    Normally, Guard and Reserve personnel can shop in the commissary a maximum of 24 days per year. During active duty they receive full military benefits - including unlimited commissary privileges. "The opportunity to save 30 percent or more at the commissary can help families living near a commissary," said Kennedy. "But first we need to get the savings message to them." Savings for a family of four shopping regularly in a commissary can amount to over $2,400 per year.

    "Commissaries worldwide take the opportunity to give special focus to outreach efforts during Commissary Awareness Month," said Kennedy. "We not only make a special effort to reach Guard and Reserve, but new active duty, spouses and families, and single service members as well. Many stores hold commissary tours with single service members to let them know the commissary is not just for those who are married. Single service members often don't realize they can obtain substantial savings in frozen and convenience foods, snacks and beverages and health and beauty products."

    Military family outreach is also an important element of Commissary Awareness Month. Tyson, Minute Maid, Heinz, Clorox, Kellogg's and Keebler have teamed up for a "Salute to the Military Family" promotion with the National Military Family Association (NMFA), a volunteer organization devoted to defending military families and their benefits. The special promotion will provide additional savings to commissary customers on name brand products and participating manufacturers will donate operating funds to NMFA. In conjunction with the promotion, most commissaries will have limited-edition boxes of "Frosted Flakes" featuring NMFA's 2002 Very Important Patriots (VIPs). The VIP Program recognizes exceptional military community volunteers.

    "Commissaries are an essential benefit and a focal point of the military community," said Kennedy. "We encourage organizations that support military families, singles, Guard and Reserve and retirees to contact your local store director if you want to arrange a group tour, or if you simply want to obtain more information to pass along to those who may not realize the value of their commissary benefit. That's what Commissary Awareness Month is all about!"

 

 

Staff Sgt. Jeffrey T. Ege, Public Affairs Office

 Chaplain finds PCS bittersweet

    April 23, 2003 --Chap. (Col.) Sonny Moore has found that his upcoming permanent change of station move has come with an unexpected perk: free meals.

    "I've got most of my meals planned out for the rest of my time here," said Moore, who will depart to become the installation chaplain at Fort Rucker, Ala., in late April.

    "It's amazing," Moore said. "Everyone wants to treat me to breakfast, lunch, or dinner. People are really reaching out to me."

    Moore, a 21-year veteran, has been the Protestant Chaplain at the Carlisle Barracks Memorial Chapel since June 2001, when he graduated from the U.S. Army War College.

    "It'll be hard to leave Carlisle Barracks," Moore said about his 34 months here. "This was a great tour. There are great people here. These people are the cream of the crop -- literally. You don't find a better community in the Army to live in than Carlisle Barracks. I just couldn't have asked for better."

    His assignment here, although pleasant, was due to some unfortunate circumstances, he said.

    Moore's wife was a cancer patient who had become very sick near his USAWC graduation date in 2001. "The Chief of Army Chaplains said, 'Hey, why don't we leave you at Carlisle, then, so your wife can continue getting treatment at Walter Reed (Hospital)?'" Moore said.

    The conditions at Carlisle Barracks proved to be perfect for Moore to be able to meet his goals.

    "I wanted to grow myself. I wanted people to grow under my ministry, and I wanted to serve the people and the Lord," Moore said. "My primary goal here was the same as its always been since I started preaching: to preach God's word and love God's people. I think I accomplished that here. I love the people in this community."

    Moore looks forward to his next assignment because of the increased number of soldiers at the post.    "I love ministering to the soldiers," Moore said. "One of my goals is to greet all the new soldiers to Fort Rucker. I want to make them feel like a part of the post and convince them somebody cares for them and is there to help them if they need it -- and to bring God's word to them all the while."

    Moore, who was promoted to colonel in December, said he has not been able to get much "off time" since he has been here. But the free time he has was spent playing golf, softball and basketball; and reading military history books.

    Chap. (Col.) Donald Rutherford, the Installation Chaplain, said he is not surprised by the warm sendoff Moore is receiving.

    "He really touched the hearts of a lot of people around here," Rutherford said. "He was certainly much beloved by the community. He is a warm person who has really made an effort to make a difference in the lives of as many people in the community as he could."

 

Nancy Mallein, Resource Management

The Army Individual Travel Card Program

 

    It's efficient and it's economical. The Army Individual Travel Card is a tool that works for the traveler, and the Army, for paying authorized expenses while TDY.  But the travel card program has recently become the topic at congressional hearings. 

    Audits have pointed to abuse of the program:  card misuse, fraudulent activity and delinquency of payments.  The audits clearly pointed to commanders and supervisors for failure to take disciplinary action, and noted that inadequate command emphasis and oversight of the program was the norm.

   "Failure of leadership to take action is unacceptable," said Secretary of the Army Thomas E. White. Card misuse and delinquency tarnish our reputation as stewards of public funds.

    Failure of understanding is unacceptable, as well. The following policies apply -

  • Use of the travel card for Permanent Change of Station expenses is prohibited. The travel card will be deactivated upon departure for travelers unless the traveler will be in temporary duty status while enroute to the new duty station.

  • While TDY, travel cards cannot be used for personal items or items that are not authorized reimbursable expenses. 

  • Individual cardholders are responsible for payment in full of the undisputed amounts due in the monthly billing statement from the card contractor.

 

    Army commanders worldwide are taking a hard look at the travel card program and how well they meet Army standards. Army senior leaders will review monthly performance data to ensure that the delinquency rate will not exceed 4.5 percent of dollars delinquent and account delinquency will not exceed 3 percent. 

    Commanders at all levels are mandated to be visibly involved, manage delinquency or misuse by name, and take disciplinary action where necessary. New program features require that -- 

         Commanders and supervisors will be notified of apparent instances of card misuse. When cardholders are more than 60 days delinquent, they will be required to by-name listing and explanations will be required from subordinate commanders/directors of cardholders.

         Commanders will mandate APC clearance as an In/Out processing requirement where the seriousness and visibility of the program will be stressed.

         Commanders will mandate Split Disbursement for military and strongly encourage it for civilians.

    The Travel and Transportation Reform Act of 1998 stipulates that all DoD personnel are required to use the government travel card to pay for costs incident to official business travel unless specifically exempted. Although a traveler is required to use the travel card, failure to use the card shall not be a basis for refusing to reimburse the traveler for appropriate charges.

    Some classes of personnel exempted from using the government travel card are: employees who have an application pending for the travel card; individuals traveling on invitational travel orders; new appointees; military or DoD civilian personnel who are denied travel charge cards or whose travel charge card has been canceled or suspended for financial irresponsibility; military or DoD civilian personnel determined to be infrequent travelers.  An infrequent traveler is one who travels two or less times per year.     

 

 

Sgt. Shaun Peeler, Public Affairs Office

Moore Child Development Center supports former 'CDC kid' in Iraq

    April 17, 2003 --Once a "CDC kid," always a CDC kid. That's how the Carlisle Barracks CDC sees it, anyway.

    The children at the Moore Child Development Center here has "adopted" former CDC-child Marine Lance Cpl. Skylor Stitt, of 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment(Reserve). Stitt's unit has been in Iraq since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    The relationship includes sending care packages to Stitt, and it's managed by a local youth 4-H club called the Clover Buds.

    "We told the kids about the project we're doing, and they all wanted to help," said Melody Irwin, CDC director. "We sent letters home with the kids, and the next day they brought back all kinds of things."

    Everything from beef jerky and baby wipes to candy and weapons cleaning kits were brought in for the care packages. Pictures, artwork, and letters were also included. Even Lt. Col. John Koivisto, garrison commander, took part by adding a letter of support. 

    Stitt is a student at Harrisburg Area Community College and was a "CDC child" in 1982. His grandmother and former CDC employee for 31 years, Becky Detwiler, told Irwin about Stitt being called to active duty and deployed to Iraq during a phone conversation. Irwin said she thought it would be a good idea to support a former CDC child involved in the war effort.

    "We adopted him because he was "one of them" -- kind of supporting our own," explained Irwin.

    Irwin said Stitt expressed his gratitude and said he would share the packages with the other Marines in his company.

    Every year the Clover Buds do a project to support the Community Outreach Program. They raised supplies for schools in the country of Georgia last year.

    "It's amazing how kids take initiative on projects like these," said Amy Magnuson, the Clover Buds' leader and CDC education technician. "Kids learn a lot from this."

    The first care package for Stitt was sent out on April 15, and should reach him in about three weeks. The plan is to send a package every month during his deployment.

    "Projects like these not only support the community, but also teach kids good values," added Irwin.

 

 

Sgt. Shaun Peeler, Public Affairs Office

Touring POW exhibit stops at Carlisle Barracks

 

April 17, 2003-- Carlisle Barracks had the opportunity to view the exhibit, "Open Doors: Vietnam POWs Thirty Years Later." The testaments from Vietnam POWs about their time as a prisoners of war and their lives afterward were on display at Bliss Hall here from April 11 to 16. 

    "We wanted to show students, facility and selected guests this display," said Steve Riley, executive director of the Army War College Foundation, which co-sponsored the showing along with the Army Heritage Center Foundation and the Ben Franklin Global Forum. "It's here to ensure people remember what the Vietnam POW went through and how they still have normal lives."

    Featured on the touring display are the works of 30 former POWs from the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and a civilian. There are black-and-white photos and written profiles of each veteran.

    "It a great way to let people know what the POWs went through and how some were captive for up to two years," explained Riley. "My question to some is, 'Would you be able to survive?'"

    Maj. Gen. Robert Ivany, USAWC commandant, attended the display opening ceremony April 11. He said he found the display inspirational. 

    The "Open Doors" project is sponsored by the Coronado Historical Society of Coronado, Calif. Through a networking and a combined effort of the AWC and AHC Foundations, "Open Doors" made a stop here on its way to a Philadelphia exhibit.

    Charlotte Cole, marketing director of the AHC Foundation, said it was perfect timing for the display because of the recent release of U.S. soldiers held as POWs in Iraq.

    "It drives home the point that freedom is not always free," Cole said. "It also reminds us that even after all the trials and tribulations, we can still be successful because the human spirit is so strong.  Every man and woman in the U.S. Armed Forces exhibits that incredible spirit."

 

 

 

 

 

Public Affairs release

New HHS patient privacy regulation to affect Carlisle Barracks

 

    The new federal regulation regarding medical patients' privacy will have an impact on Carlisle Barracks.

    "As a command, we have in the past announced significant activities such as births, deaths, injuries, and sickness to ensure all leaders were aware of our employees concerns and challenges," said Col. Michael Colpo, U.S. Army War College chief of staff. "In the future, we will not be able to do this without the consent of the person."

    This consent can be obtained by voice, email or in writing and the person giving the consent can limit the span of release.

    The regulation, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, is the first-ever comprehensive federal regulation that gives patients sweeping protections over the privacy of their medical records.

    Effective April 14, millions of health plans, hospitals, doctors and other health care providers around the country must comply with new federal privacy regulations. To develop these regulations, the HHS went through an extensive process of consultation and consensus that included reviewing and considering more than 100,000 public comments.

    These new federal health privacy regulations set a national floor of privacy protections that will reassure patients that their medical records are kept confidential. The rules will help to ensure appropriate privacy safeguards are in place as we harness information technologies to improve the quality of care provided to patients. Consumers will benefit from these new limits on the way their personal medical records may be used or disclosed by those entrusted with this sensitive information.

    The new protections give patients greater access to their own medical records and more control over how their personal information is used by their health plans and health care providers. Consumers will get a notice explaining how their health plans, doctors, pharmacies, and other health care providers use, disclose and protect their personal information. In addition, consumers will have the ability to see and copy their health records and to request corrections of any errors included in their records. Consumers may file complaints about privacy issues with their health plans or providers or with our Office for Civil Rights.

    The new rules also reflect a common-sense balance between protecting patients' privacy and ensuring the best quality care for patients. They do not interfere with the ability of doctors to treat their patients, and they allow important public health activities, such as tracking infectious disease outbreaks and -reporting adverse drug events, to continue.

    Under the privacy rule:

- Patients must give specific authorization before entities covered by this regulation could use or disclose protected information in most non-routine circumstances - such as releasing information to an employer or for use in marketing activities. Doctors, health plans and other covered entities would be required to follow the rule's standards for the use and disclosure of personal health information.

- Covered entities generally will need to provide patients with written notice of their privacy practices and patients' privacy rights. The notice will contain information that could be useful to patients choosing a health plan, doctor or other provider. Patients would generally be asked to sign or otherwise acknowledge receipt of the privacy notice from direct treatment providers.

- Pharmacies, health plans and other covered entities must first obtain an individual's specific authorization before sending them marketing materials. At the same time, the rule permits doctors and other covered entities to communicate freely with patients about treatment options and other health-related information, including disease-management programs.

- Specifically, improvements to the final rule strengthen the marketing language to make clear that covered entities cannot use business associate agreements to circumvent the rule's marketing prohibition. The improvement explicitly prohibits pharmacies or other covered entities from selling personal medical information to a business that wants to market its products or services under a business associate agreement.

- Patients generally will be able to access their personal medical records and request changes to correct any errors. In addition, patients generally could request an accounting of non-routine uses and disclosures of their health information.

    For more information and answers to frequently asked questions, go to the official website at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/assist.html.

 

 

 

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Release

Pennsylvania launches 2003 West Nile Virus surveillance program

    "It's that time of the year again -- time to get your yard back in shape or just get out and enjoy Pennsylvania's natural wonders," Acting Secretary Dr. Robert Muscalus said. "But don't forget about the mosquitoes. In 2002, West Nile virus was detected in 62 Pennsylvanians and contributed to the deaths of nine people. Last year's experience makes it clear that Pennsylvanians need to do their part to eliminate mosquito breeding areas around their homes."

    When transmitted to people, West Nile virus most often causes mild infections like the flu, but on rare occasions the virus can cause West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can cause an inflammation of the brain. Anyone can get the virus, but older adults over 50 years of age are at increased risk of developing severe illness.

    In addition to transmission through the bite of an infected mosquito, West Nile virus also has recently been shown to be transmitted through organ donation, blood transfusion, possibly mother to child (breastfeeding and transplacental) and occupational transmission. However, these other types of transmission account for a very small proportion of cases.

    West Nile Virus cases occur primarily in the late summer or early fall, although mosquito season is usually April through October. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is coordinating the county-based mosquito surveillance and control portion of the multi-agency effort.

    "Along with our county partners, DEP will conduct an aggressive and pro-active mosquito surveillance and control program again this year," Acting DEP Secretary McGinty said.

    DEP and county West Nile coordinators will be looking for immature (larvae and pupae) and adult mosquitoes to determine if they are species known to carry the virus. They also will be noting their numbers and geographic distribution.

    Mosquitoes known to carry West Nile virus that are detected in large numbers will be controlled using a powdered form of naturally occurring bacteria or a mosquito growth hormone, both of which are harmless to humans and aquatic life. To collect mosquitoes, DEP and county coordinators use equipment called light traps, gravid traps and dippers. The Departments of Health and Agriculture will perform laboratory testing to determine if the virus is present in mosquitoes, animals and humans.

    "Similar to people, horses and other animals, including pets, can become infected with the West Nile virus after being bitten by an infected mosquito," Secretary Wolff said. "We will continue to work with veterinarians and animal owners across the state to monitor horse and other animal populations." A vaccine is available for horses through veterinarians.

    Acting Secretary Muscalus is reminding Pennsylvanians to report dead bird sightings. Dead bird sightings will be used to identify potential areas for enhanced surveillance. This year, Pennsylvanians can report dead birds two ways, on-line at http://www.westnile.state.pa.us or by calling 1-877-PA-HEALTH. The West Nile surveillance program will collect up to five dead birds a week per county throughout the entire West Nile virus season. Citizens can call 1-877-PA-HEALTH to find out if their dead bird is appropriate for testing. If it is, they will be asked to deliver the bird to a centralized collection site.

    Pennsylvanians can take a few simple steps around their homes to reduce their risk of contracting the West Nile virus. Because mosquitoes breed in standing water, even a small bucket that has stagnant water in it for four days can become home to many mosquitoes.

    Tips to eliminate standing water include:

. Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers that have accumulated on your property. Do not overlook containers that have become overgrown by aquatic vegetation;

. Pay special attention to discarded tires that may have accumulated on your property;

. Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are left outdoors. Drainage holes that are located on a container's sides allow them to collect enough water for mosquitoes to breed;

. Clean clogged roof gutters on an annual basis, particularly if the leaves from surrounding trees have a tendency to plug up the drains. Roof gutters are easily overlooked but can produce millions of mosquitoes each season;

. Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use. A wading pool becomes a mosquito producer if it is not used on a regular basis;

. Turn over wheelbarrows, and do not allow water to stagnate in birdbaths for more than four days. Both provide breeding habitat for domestic mosquitoes;

. Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Water gardens are fashionable but become major mosquito producers if they are allowed to stagnate;

. Clean and chlorinate swimming pools that are not being used. Be aware that mosquitoes may even breed in water that collects on swimming pool covers; and

. Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property. Mosquitoes will develop in any puddle that lasts for more than four days.

    Last year, the West Nile virus was identified in 63 Pennsylvania counties. The only counties that did not have positive test results for 2002 were Elk, Cameron, Fulton and Carbon counties. The West Nile virus was identified in 1,737 birds, 674 mosquito groups, 97 horses, 43 sentinel chickens and 62 people, with nine human deaths.

    A special website has been established to provide citizens with background information and regular updates about the West Nile virus and is available through the PA PowerPort at http://www.state.pa.us, PA Keyword: "DEP West Nile " or at http://www.westnile.state.pa.us. Visitors to the website can sign up to automatically receive news releases and other updates via e-mail.

 

 

 

Centers for Disease Control release

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives SARS facts

 

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating a new disease called severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The disease was first reported among people in China, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. It has since spread to other countries. As of April 14, more than 193 cases of SARS had been reported in the United States and 3,000 worldwide.

 

Symptoms of SARS

    In general, SARS begins with a fever greater than 100.4 F. Other symptoms may include headache, an overall feeling of discomfort, and body aches. Some people also experience mild respiratory symptoms. After two to seven days, SARS patients may develop a dry cough and have trouble breathing.

 

How SARS spreads

    Public health experts think that SARS is spread by close contact between people. SARS is most likely spread when someone sick with the disease coughs droplets into the air and someone else breathes them in. It is possible that SARS also can spread more broadly through the air or from touching objects that have become contaminated.

 

Who is at risk for SARS?

    Cases of SARS continue to be reported mainly among people who have had direct close contact with an infected person, such as those sharing a household with a SARS patient and health-care workers who did not use infection control procedures while taking care of a SARS patient. In U.S., there is no indication of community spread at this time. CDC continues to monitor this situation very closely.

 

Possible cause of SARS

    Scientists at CDC and other laboratories have detected a previously unrecognized coronavirus in patients with SARS. While the new coronavirus is still the leading hypothesis for the cause of SARS, other viruses are still under investigation as potential causes.

 

CDC recommendations

 

For individuals considering travel to affected parts of Asia:
    CDC advises that people planning elective or nonessential travel to mainland China and Hong Kong, Singapore, and Hanoi may wish to postpone their trips until further notice.

 

For individuals who think they might have SARS:
    People with symptoms of SARS (fever of more than 100.4 F that is accompanied by a cough and/or difficulty breathing) should consult a health-care provider. To help the health-care provider make a diagnosis, tell them about any recent travel to places where SARS has been reported or whether there was contact with someone who had these symptoms.

 

For family members caring for someone with SARS:

    CDC has developed interm infection control recommendations for patients with suspected SARS in the household. These basic precautions should be followed for 10 days after respiratory symptoms and fever are gone. During that time, SARS patients are asked to limit interactions outside the home (not go to work, school, or other public areas).

 

For health-care workers:
    Transmission of SARS to health-care workers appears to have occurred after close contact with sick people before recommended infection control precautions were put into use. CDC has issued  interim infection control recommendations for health-care as well as for the management of exposure to SARS in health-care and other institutional setting.

 

What CDC is doing about SARS?

    CDC is working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners in a global effort to address the SARS outbreak. For its part, CDC has taken the following actions:

-   Activated its Emergency Operations Center to provide round-the-clock coordination and response.

-   Committed more than 250 medical experts and support staff to work on the SARS response.

-       Deployed medical officers, epidemiologists, and other specialists to assist with on-site investigations around the world.

-       Provided ongoing assistance to state and local health departments in investigating possible cases of SARS in the United States.

-    Conducted extensive laboratory testing of clinical specimens from SARS patients to identify the cause of the disease.

   - Initiated a system for distributing health alert notices to travelers who may have been exposed to cases of SARS.

    For more information, visit CDC's website at http://www.cdc.gov/ or call the CDC public response hotline at 888-246-2675 for English or  888-246-2857 for Spanish.

 

 

Staff Sgt. Jeffrey T. Ege, Public Affairs Office

Barracks to celebrate Arbor Day with honor

     April 23, 2003 --Smokey Bear will join State Forester Bruce Kyle to check out the environmental plan that's earned Carlisle Barracks a Tree City USA designation for 12 years in a row. Under the bear's watchful eye, employees' children will plant a Maple tree here in Commandant's Grove, behind the Garrison Headquarters, April 25 at 10 a.m.

    Kyle will also recognize Carlisle Barracks with its 7th Tree City USA Growth Award for demonstrating progress in its forestry program.

    The campus-like environment of Carlisle Barracks reflects a pledge to environmental stewardship, according to Keith Bailey, Environmental Program manager with the post's Public Works.

    Smokey Bear will help children from the post Child Development Center sing a song during the ceremony.

    Maj. Walter Kilmer, deputy Garrison commander, and Kyle will talk about the importance of trees, wildlife, and environmental concerns. Smokey Bear will then help the Carlisle Barracks youth plant a Maple tree.

    Tree City USA is a joint program of the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters.

Arbor Day Proclamation   

    "I, John Koivisto, Commander, U.S. Army Garrison, Carlisle Barracks, Pa., do hereby proclaim April 25, 2003, as ARBOR DAY throughout our community.

     I urge all community members to support our efforts to care for the trees and woodlands and to support the various community forestry and environmental programs, and I urge all citizens to plant trees to lift the hearts and to promote the well-being of the present and future generations."

 

 

 

Maj. Merideth Bucher, Public Affairs Officer

The new American way of war opens to debate

 

 

   Maj. Gen. Robert R. Ivany, Commandant of the Army War College, talks with American and Australian attendees of the Army War College's 14th Annual Strategy Conference here held April 8-10, following the Commandant's Lecture Series presentation by Prof. Russell F. Weigley.

 "The way we've engaged and applied overwhelming force in Iraq does not depart from the historic American way of war,"  said Professor Russell F. Weigley, author of "The American Way of War." 

    Weigley presented his comments as the historical basis of our nation's traditional approach to war at the Army War College 14th annual strategy conference held here from April 8 through 10 at Bliss Hall.  The premise of his novel also served as the topical framework of the conference, which was entitled, "The 'New' American  Way of War."

    According to Col. Randy Pullen, conference planner, the goal of the conference was to examine America's emerging approach to the strategic environment and discuss whether this is in fact a new approach to war or an example of our nation's traditional military response.  

    In the keynote address, Dr. Weigley said that the American strategy of bringing overwhelming power to bear upon our adversaries is not new to this century, but rather born of our nation's military experience during the Civil War.  He specifically credited Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant with founding our nation's traditional image of how we wage war.

    Six panel discussions were convened during the conference to examine topics, such as, "The road ahead: defense transformation and the new American way of war," "The American way of war: alternative views," and "The new American way of war and the national security strategy and the national military strategy."

    The Strategic Studies Institute sponsors the strategy conference to bring together top thinkers from academia, policymakers and military strategists from across the nation and the world to examine the United States role in today's strategic security environment.  The conference is also open to War College faculty and students.

    "One of the hallmarks of academic leadership is conducting timely and relevant conferences that attract leading members of the defense intellectual and policymaking community.  This conference certainly did that," said Prof. D.C. Lovelace, Jr., director of the Strategic Studies Institute.

    The Strategic Studies Institute also co-sponsors eight or more academic conferences each year with leading American universities and think tanks, to include Stanford, Harvard, and Duke Universities.  Lovelace said that it is important for any prestigious academic organization, like the Army War College, to be viewed by other academic leaders as a leader in it's discipline; the War College's focus being national security. 

    The Strategic Studies Institute will publish a conference brief as a synopsis of the keynote address and panel discussions.  A conference book will also be published to feature selected articles by panelists and speakers.  When completed, the brief and papers will be available on the Strategic Studies website at http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ssi/index.html.

 

 

 

Tom Zimmerman, Public Affairs Office

Carlisle Barracks DOIM begins final 'chapter' of A-76 story

 

April 9, 2003 - Change is nothing new at Carlisle Barracks, and as the Directorate of Information Management A-76 decision takes effect, former DOIM employees begin the next "chapter" in their lives. 

    While many people moved to different positions as a result of the decisions and retirements, the impact on the installation was less severe than it could have been, according to Gerry Silverberg, director of Civilian Personnel.

    "We had no permanent separations, and only five term employee separations," he said. "We were able to maximize use of the existing vacancies, early retirements and selections at other installations, mixed in with a little luck to lessen the impact of the decision."

    Overall, 19 people moved into new positions, 14 employees took the retirement option, and five found jobs at other installations around the world. Three of the employees accepted positions in Europe, and two others at the Distribution Logistics Agency in New Cumberland.

    A large number of people also moved into positions with the contractor, which assumed duties April 1.  Twenty-four of the former General Schedule DOIM employees have been hired to continue their duties under Remtech, Metro Productions and Cordev Inc., according to Walter Craig, DOIM project manager for Remtech.

    One of those employees, Dennis O'Connor, the former printing officer has taken a position with Remtech as the printing coordinator, for example

    "I'll be doing basically the same job as I did before," O'Connor said. "It's the same job, just a different title."

    O'Connor has spent 15 of his 32 years of Army service at Carlisle Barracks, which helped him make the decision to work for Remtech.

    "I was originally looking at retirement, and going into full-time ministry, but there were too many good advantages to coming back," he said. "The opportunity to work with some of the same people, the benefits and continuing to do what I like to do made it easy to decide."

   Another employee, Darlene McCabe, who was a management analyst and distribution center supervisor, said that the need to continue working and the opportunity to continue at Carlisle Barracks made it worth coming back.

    "I had planned on retiring, reclining back and collecting unemployment for awhile," she said. "Remtech Services made me an offer and I sat down with my husband to discuss it. After some discussions, and some things that we wanted to do around the house, I decided to come back."   

    The people at Carlisle Barracks made the decision easy for McCabe.

    "I've gone from working with my "old family" in the mail room to my "new family" in the printing area with Remtech," she said. "I feel I have been blessed by being able to retire and be offered a job."

     Both felt that the transition process should be fairly transparent, with little to no noticeable changes in service to their users.

    "There is a steep learning curve for everyone," said McCabe. "It's going really well, though. Having some working knowledge of how things are done really helps."

    O'Connor added that the shadowing done by incoming employees also helped.

    "I was shadowed for two weeks, in order to get a clear understanding of my job," he said. "It makes it much easier for new employees and managers to see how things work, and what a typical day is like."

     When asked about to look back over the entire A-76 process, he said that it was, "too cumbersome of a process."

    "It took almost five years from start to finish, and I think that's too long," he said. "With the amount of stress and work it causes, there has got to be an easier way to do it."

    McCabe echoed those statements, but was eager to get back to business as usual.

    "It was a hard thing to see so many people uprooted during the long process, and sometimes it was very hard to deal with," she said. "I've been able to get through that thought and begin the next chapter in my life."

 

 

Staff Sgt. Jeffrey T. Ege, Public Affairs Office

Heat pump drilling moves next to Garrison Lane, Royal American Circle

 

 

April 9, 2003--Drilling began March 11 for the geothermal heat pump project that will make Carlisle Barracks more energy efficient. After several weeks in Marshall Ridge, the project is currently focused on work on Forbes Ave, and is expected to last into mid-May.  

    The project is progressing well, and there have been few complaints by post residents, according to Scott Miller, the installation's project manager.

    "We're probably about 12 months away from completion," Miller said. "The residents have been extremely cooperative. We know it's a messy job, and we're really grateful they're cooperating with us. We think they realize this will really benefit them and future housing residents."

    Susan Polaske, Marshall Ridge housing resident, was home in mid-March when drilling was occurring just feet from her door.

    "It was noisy for about one day," Polaske said. "But after that, it didn't affect us too much. We didn't mind because we realize that the heat pumps will save the government a lot of money."

    Post residents have been, and will continue to be, notified that drilling will occur in their area three weeks in advance by tags that will be placed on their doors, according to Miller. They will not have to be present for the work.

    Door tags will once again be used to notify residents three weeks in advance of the installation of the heat pumps, which they will need to be home for. 

    Editor's note: For more information on the geothermal heat pump project, go here

 

 

 

Staff Sgt. Jeffrey T. Ege, Public Affairs Office

Solicitation process for privatization of post housing under RCI to begin May 1

April 7, 2003 --The solicitation process for the management of Carlisle Barracks' housing under the Residential Communities Initiative will begin for private housing developers May 1, according to Alan Thompson, post Residential Communities Initiative Program manager. 

    Thompson is now in the process of putting some of the necessary documentation together, which includes concepts for the scope of the work, he said.

    A "site tour" of the post housing areas is scheduled for interested developers on May 8.

    The Army RCI Office briefed the post project to the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon in March.

    The Department of the Army notified Congress on March 14 that Carlisle Barracks intends to privatize its housing under the housing privatization initiative, giving it the 60-day notice required by law.

     The Army Corps of Engineers will solicit the project through Directorate of Contracting channels using its print and web-based publication, "Federal Business Opportunities," which is viewed by contractors and developers - basically anyone interested in doing business with federal government, Thompson said.

    The solicitations will then be evaluated by a board consisting of representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers and the post U.S. Army Garrison in July. The evaluation process will probably take 45-60 days, according to Thompson.

    Maj. Gen. Robert Ivany, the Army War College commandant, presented the post project during a March 6 Army RCI Office industry forum in San Antonio. Representatives from eight other installations also made presentations to the approximate 150 representatives from development firms, according to Thompson, who also attended the event along with Lt. Col. John Koivisto, garrison commander, and Wayne Boyd, the post housing manager. The purpose was to give them an initial idea of what each of the installations have in terms of housing inventory and what they plan on doing.

    About six developers indicated interest in touring Carlisle Barracks on May 8, according to Thompson.

    "I'm feeling pretty positive," Thompson said. "We're moving ahead with this very nicely."

 

 

 

Staff Sgt. Jeffrey T. Ege, Public Affairs Office

Yellow ribbons show what's in spouses' hearts for deployed service members

    "You just can't measure the sacrifice of our deployed service members. How can you say what's in your heart?" said Fran Smith the afternoon of April 2 as she attached a yellow bow to a tree in front of Root Hall on post.

    Smith is volunteering her time to trim the post in yellow ribbons that symbolize hope and support for service members currently deployed overseas.

    Smith, Vera Williams, Kathy Powers, Trish Dickman, and Donna Carr started putting up the ribbons April 1 and anticipate being done sometime next week. By the time they're finished, they tied a yellow ribbon around will have put up 80 on lampposts, trees, and buildings across post, according to Williams, who started the project.

    Williams' husband, Col. Tom Williams, director of the Army Physical Fitness Research Institute here since June 3, 2002, is in the Central Command theater of operations.

    Smith's husband, a student with last year's Army War College resident class, was sent on a one-year deployment last July to Camp Doha, Kuwait.

    Powers is the spouse of a retired soldier who now works on post as a civilian employee.

    Dickman, the spouse of retired Col. Cliff Dickman, former director of the AWC's Plans and Operations, has a daughter currently deployed to Kuwait as an Army commissioned officer.

    Carr's husband, also a student with last year's AWC resident class, was deployed to Bosnia last July.

    On March 27 and 28, Williams, Smith and Powers gathered with about 20 other women from across post, gathered at Carlisle Barracks Memorial Chapel. With the guidance of Youth Services art teacher Connie Barr, they made about 100 bows.

    On Saturday morning, March 29, the trio set up a table outside the Post Exchange and handed out 50 of the bows. They accepted donations that will help fund care packages for area active, Reserve, and National Guard soldiers, according to Williams. Their goal is to send out 50 care packages by the end of next week. The post Commissary and PX have also donated items for the packages.

    "Everyone's been real supportive of this, from the garrison commander to the commandant - and everyone in between," Williams said.

    "We felt we had to show support for our soldiers, because we felt it but couldn't see it," Williams said.          

    Williams is looking for more volunteers to help turn yellow ribbon into bows. Interested persons can reach Williams at 249-5383.

 

 

 

Sgt. Shaun Peeler, Public Affairs Office

Thorpe Hall Gym reopened and rededicated April 1

 

    After 20 months of labor, construction, meetings, bad weather, problems, and setbacks, Thorpe Hall Gym was officially reopened and rededicated April 1 with an 11 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony.

    Maj. Gen. Robert R. Ivany, Army War College commandant, spoke at the ceremony.

    "It's wonderful how we can renovate and keep the same spirit of the building, but make it modern and useful for the community," said Ivany, about the gym that was constructed in 1887 by Carlisle Indian Industrial School students.

    Special guests were invited to the ceremony. One was National Football League veteran and Carlisle native Lee Woodall. Woodall played for the Denver Broncos, the Carolina Panthers, and the San Francisco 49ers. Winning the Super Bowl in 1995 with the 49ers is the highlight of his eight-year NFL career.

    Woodall lifted weights and played basketball in the facility as a Carlisle youth before its renovation.

    "It's quite an honor to be here for the reopening and rededication," Woodall said. "Jim Thorpe was great athlete."

    The gym is named after James Thorpe, who attended the Indian School from 1904 to 1909 and from 1911 to 1913. He his known for his performance during the Olympic Games in Stockholm in 1912. He came the only athlete in Olympic history to win both the pentathlon and decathlon. The gym was first dedicated to James Thorpe in 1954. In 1920, Thorpe was named the first commissioner of the NFL, then called the American Professional Football Association.

    Thorpe Hall Gym opened for business at 2 p.m. after the ceremony. The renovated building has three levels.  The first level is the main gym, which includes the basketball court, a free-weights workout area, and locker rooms. The second level is dedicated to cardio-respiratory fitness. The third level is the activities room, which will be used for classes such as aerobics and martial arts.

    About two million dollars went into the facelift of the facility. That includes renovations and gym equipment; nearly all the equipment is new.

    A special post run at 6:30 a.m. was part of the day's activities. Raffle drawings for gifts donated by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service were held. Runners enjoyed juices and fruit after the run.

    During the opening ceremony, guests had a chance to tour the building and check out the new equipment.

    Sgt. Sandra Gaines, a personnel clerk with the AWC, said the gym looks great.

    "I wasn't here before the renovations, but I know it's outstanding now," explained Gaines. "They have all the updated equipment in the cardio room, and it was a great ideal to have an activity room.  Having the activity room for classes won't stop soldiers from playing basketball or doing other things."

    Operating hours for Thorpe Hall Gym will be from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and closed on holidays.

    Ivany expressed his gratitude to all those involved with the remodeling process.

    "I can only say thank you to all the people who made this building possible," said Ivany. "It a great symbol of what Carlisle is. It's a wonderful tradition."

see more photos

 

 

Suzanne Reynolds, Public Affairs Office

Community says 'farewell' to DOIM

    A group retirement ceremony and luncheon was held at the Letort View Community Center on March 28 to congratulate and commend 11 DOIM employees for long-standing dedication and hard work - more than 328 years of combined service -- to the Army War College and Carlisle Barracks.

    In front of family and friends, Sondra Alban, Hugh Barr, Steve Byrne, Corliss Cromer, Jim Kistler, Darlene McCabe, Jim McNally, Larry Miller (not present), Mike Miller, Dennis O'Connor and Mary Jane Semple were presented with Certificates of Appreciation, Superior Civilian Service Awards and Certificates of Retirement.

   As of April 1, the majority of this group returned to the Army War College to begin working with the contractors,  Remtech, Metro Productions and Cordev, that assumed the duties formerly held by government workers.

           

 

 

Staff Sgt. Jeffrey T. Ege, Public Affairs Office

New Remtech DOIM employees welcomed into post team during orientation

 

    A special orientation was held in Bliss Hall April 1 for 60 new employees of Remtech Services, Inc., which was contracted by the Army in December to take over operations of the installation's Directorate of Information Management.

    The contract came as a result of Remtech winning an A-76 decision in December. The decision directly affected the civilian and military employees who worked mainly in the information technology field. Graphic arts, telecommunications, mail distribution, audiovisual, and administrative missions have been picked up by Remtech.

    Remtech will get a helping hand from two sub-contractors: Metro Productions and Cordev, Inc.

    Metro Productions now handles the Visual Information Department for the Army War College. Jim MacNeil, a retired lieutenant colonel and former AWC public affairs officer, heads up the department.

    Cordev now handles the help desk, telephone services, and video teleconferences. Hugh Barr, recently retired from the Chief Information Office, leads the way.  

    Col. Gordon Thigpen, Chief of Information Operations, began the orientation by welcoming the new DOIM workers. The employees were also addressed by Maj. Gen. Robert Ivany, AWC commandant; Lt. Col. John Koivisto, post garrison commander; Col. Craig Madden, deputy AWC commandant; Col. Mike Colpo, AWC chief of staff; and Dr. Doug Johnson, AWC dean of academics. "Welcome to the team" was the overall theme of all the speakers.

    Ivany spoke about the importance of the AWC Values, the college's mission, and the impact that the work done by DOIM has on the students. "Everybody has an impact on students here - not just the instructors," Ivany said.

    Madden told the group that he considered it good that the Remtech employees include a large number of the civilian General Schedule (GS) employees of the former DOIM who will continue a tradition of excellent service.  Twenty-four of the former GS DOIM employees have been hired to continue their duties under Remtech. Six more new Remtech DOIM employees will be reporting within the next 10 days, which will bring the total up to 70, according to Walter Craig, DOIM project manager for Remtech. The total number authorized by the contract is 71, so there is additional hiring to be done, Craig said.

    Craig emphasized to the new workers that good customer service is the top priority. "If you provide good service, the customer walks away with a good memory," Craig said. "It's the way we treat each other that matters. To be successful in these things, it must be a government-industry partnership."

    After an afternoon break, a representative from the Human Resources Division briefed the group on their new contractor ID cards.

    An Army Community Service representative offered a "lay of the land," describing the on-post facilities available for their use.

    The words of greetings and information were welcomed by the new employees - even the former GS and military workers.

    "Those of us who have crossed over from military or government service here have heard some of that before, but it was good to hear that we have that kind of support," MacNeil said.

 

 

 

Sgt. Shaun Peeler, Public Affairs Office

Post community surfaces issues during AFAP Symposium

(photo Sgt. Shaun Peeler)

 

   Staff Sgt. Jonathan Frazier, a computer system analyst, presents an issue for his group during the symposium.

 About 60 individuals attended the annual Carlisle Barracks Army Family Action Plan Symposium held at the Letort View Community Center March 31.

    The AFAP symposium is used to identify and prioritize soldier and family issues to assist Army leadership in reshaping the Army.

    At the symposium, soldiers, family members and retirees had the opportunity to voice topics that couldn't be solved at post level. From there, Carlisle Barracks leaders decide which issues to present to the Department of the Army.

    "A lot of things we have here can be taken to DA," said Col. Craig Madden, Army War College deputy commandant. "There are a lot of things we are already looking at, and things we can fix. We thank you for your input,"  he said to the participants who represented segments of the post community.

    Participants worked in groups to discuss and determine the most significant issues to present to the Carlisle Barracks Deciding Committee. After the three top issues were established, the group provided supporting facts to support the issues, recommendations for change, and the cost/benefit to the Army. Only three of the issues will make it to DA.

    There were requests for dental coverage for divorced spouses, more dentists or hygienists at the dental clinic, a shoppette on post and specialty bonuses for highly technically skilled soldiers. There were concerns about ambulance billing, mail delivery in enlisted quarters, and off-post housing for single soldiers.

    Spc. Robert Monn, military policeman, said the AFAP symposium is a valuable tool.

    "It gives the community of Carlisle Barracks to express opinions, and it is the first step toward change," Monn said. 

    Army spouse Valerie Frazier said she wants to make it better for her and everyone else.

    "I want to help make a change for the community at Carlisle Barracks," Frazier said. "We brought up a lot of good ideas, and hopefully we will see a change."

    All input at the AFAP is used to improve family programs, benefits, and entitlements, according to Madden.

    "Over the next few years, you should see a lot of things change," Madden said.

    The committee has not yet decided on the issues that will be forwarded to DA.

 

           

Provost Marshal's Office

Provost Marshal's Office issues weapons registration reminder

 

    Weapons registration at the Military Police Desk is required for any weapon maintained on post -- within 72 hours of arrival here. Soldiers residing in bachelor enlisted quarters must store personally owned firearms in the Headquarters Company arms room.

    Pennsylvania doesn't require firearms registration, however, a state permit is required to carry a weapon on a person or in a vehicle.  License applications are available at the county sheriff's office.  Voluntary firearms registration can be accomplished at most sporting good stores.

    No person may carry a loaded handgun in any vehicle or on his or her person -- concealed or unconcealed -- on Carlisle Barracks without the consent of the Provost Marshal.

    Transporting firearms in a vehicle is authorized under the following conditions:

 

*  While traveling to and from designated quarters to off post hunting,

fishing, or target practice area.  Weapons must be unloaded and ammunition stored in a separate compartment.

 

*  While transporting privately-owned weapon(s) in a vehicle from place of purchase to designated quarters or from quarters to an off post sportsman dealer or place of repair.  Weapons must be unloaded and ammunition stored in a separate compartment.

 

    For more information, contact the MP Desk about weapon registrations at 245-4115 or refer to Carlisle Barracks Regulation 190-6.

 

 

 

Sierra Military Health Services

Ways to cope with current events

 

Worrisome current events can make you feel that the future is uncertain. Whether an emergency situation seems imminent or possible in the distant future, it can be challenging to do the most ordinary things. These tips can help you deal with the fear you may be feeling.

 

         Turn the TV off. Limit the amount of news you watch. It's important to stay informed. But listening to the same coverage for hours can leave you feeling scared and emotionally drained.

         Don't listen to the rumors. In uncertain times, facts can become exaggerated and false stories may circulate. Getting caught up in rumors can add to your fears. Listen to credible sources such as national or local authorities and follow their recommended course of action.  

         Take safety precautions. Planning ahead for any kind of emergency can help you feel more secure. Discuss with your family where you'll meet if you're separated. Make emergency contact numbers readily available. Set aside a first-aid kit, canned food, water, a flashlight and batteries.

         Communicate your feelings. Talk with friends or family members who feel the same way you do. Or write in a journal, express your feelings in a poem or create a piece of art.

         Spend time with loved ones. It's important to be with people you care about-especially in times of distress or uncertainty. Enjoy and cherish each other's company.

         Locate support groups. It can be helpful to realize that others have similar emotions as you. Be sure to find a group that's led by an experienced professional.

         Practice healthy habits. This can help you deal with stress. Eat well-balanced meals, get plenty of sleep and exercise regularly. Try relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga or tai chi. Be aware that caffeine can aggravate anxiety. Also, limit alcohol intake.

         Follow a regular routine. Eat meals and exercise at the same time every day. Or, start a new hobby or activity that brings you joy. Also, create new family rituals. This may help you feel a sense of stability.

         Avoid big changes, if possible. Don't make any major decisions when you feel uncertain or stressful-such as changing jobs or moving.

         Be kind to other people. Volunteer your services, or donate money or blood. Assisting others can help you feel a part of your community.

         Add humor into your life. Laughing can be therapeutic-it can relieve stress and bring you happiness. Do something fun that brings a smile to your face. 

         The Health Care Information Line Is Here for You.  Remember, the Health Care Information Line can help you cope with physical symptoms that often are associated with emotional distress.  Call 1-800-308-3518 for information and support.  Registered nurses are available 24 hours every day, or you can use PIN #208 for the automated Health Information Library.

 

 

When It's More Than Stress

 

    Sierra Military Health Services, Inc. (SMHS) the TRICARE administrator for TRICARE Northeast presents this information courtesy of Optum. 

    Feeling tense, irritable or anxious? Having trouble concentrating or getting a good night's rest? These are common symptoms of stress-something we all experience from time to time. Deadlines, traffic jams and even holidays can leave you feeling frazzled. When temporary, stress can motivate you to take needed action. However, sometimes stress can trigger or develop into something more serious. Some related conditions include:

 

Anxiety Disorders-It's natural to feel nervous or anxious when you're stressed. But, people with anxiety disorders worry intensely and with such frequency that it disrupts their lives. There are several types of anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and phobias.

 

Depression-More than just "the blues," depression is marked by prolonged feelings of sadness, despair and hopelessness. It may be brought on by a loss or other external circumstance. But, people with depression often blame themselves. They may withdraw from daily activities and social circles. And, they may even have thoughts of death or suicide, which should never be ignored.

 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-Many events in life can be stressful. However, some are so traumatic that they trigger a prolonged and exaggerated stress response. Experiencing a natural disaster, crime or abuse, for instance, often leaves a lasting imprint. You may have feelings of anxiety, fear or restlessness. You even may relive the event in your mind-or be unable to shake tragic images.

 

 

Do You Need Help?

 

Here are just some of the signs that you may need professional help:

         You no longer find pleasure in things that once were enjoyable to you.

         Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness take over.

         Relationships with your friends and family begin to suffer or become strained.

         You experience increased irritability, anger and frustration every day.

         You are consumed with worry or panic, or are unable to control repetitive behaviors.

         You abuse alcohol, tobacco or other drugs.

If the stress in your life is overwhelming, don't hesitate to talk with your doctor or counselor. There are effective treatments that can get you back on track-so you can enjoy life again.

 

The Health Care Information Line Is Here for You

 

    Remember, the Health Care Information Line can help you cope with physical symptoms that often are associated with emotional distress.  Call 1-800-308-3518 for information and support for symptoms like headaches, stomachaches, insomnia and much more. Registered nurses are available 24 hours every day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Col. Gordon Miller, DUSAHC Commander

TRICARE benefits issue discussed at USAWC presentation

  

April 23, 2003 --During a recent evening presentation to the USAWC students and their spouses the topic of women's health issues, the question came up as to whether or not a bone density scan is a covered benefit under TRICARE.

    Bone densitometry, when ordered in patients with risk factors, is a TRICARE covered benefit.

    Those high-risk factors are: women who are estrogen deficient (menopausal),

         patients who have vertebral (backbone) abnormalities,

         individuals who take long-term steroid therapy,

         patients with primary hyperparathyroidism

         those with a strong family history of osteoporosis. 

 

    A bone density study, or bone densitometry, is a procedure performed to assess bone mass determined by the concentration of calcified material.  These studies are particularly useful for diagnosing and monitoring response to therapy for conditions such as osteoporosis, where the bone mineral density is significantly below the average in gender-matched young adults, and osteopenia, a less advanced state of low bone mineral density.

    The risk of bone fractures increases two to three times for every 10 percent drop in bone density so it is important to diagnose these conditions in patients at increased risk.

    TRICARE does not cover bone densitometry when ordered for the purposes of routine screening in patients without risk factors for osteoporosis or osteopenia.  If you have further questions or concerns about either of these conditions, or feel you are at increased risk, don't hesitate to discuss them with your primary care provider. 

    Other questions about TRICARE benefits are best answered by your Health Benefits Advisors located at the Dunham US Army Health Clinic.  You may contact them by visiting the Patient Service Center, calling (717)-245-4112, or contacting them via our website located at www.carlisle.army.mil/dahc/dunhamhome.htm.

 

 

 

TRICARE news release

TRICARE eligibility for Guard and Reserve families begins the day sponsor is activated         

 

April 15, 2003--TRICARE eligibility for family members of National Guard and Reserves begins the day the sponsor is activated to military service on federal orders for more than 30 days.  Family members are not required to wait 30 days to use their TRICARE health care benefits--they never had to.  However, to take advantage of TRICARE, sponsors and all family members must be enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS).  Family members have three

health care options:  TRICARE Prime, Extra and Standard, and may receive care at either a Department of Defense (DoD) military treatment facility (MTF) or from any TRICARE-authorized civilian provider.

 

o Benefit Enhancements

 

    Recently, Dr. William Winkenwerder, Jr., the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, announced a new policy to enhance access to health care for Guard and Reserve family members.  Effective March 10, 2003, family members of Guard and Reserves activated to military service for more than 30 days may now enroll in TRICARE Prime -- a benefit that has no deductibles, co-payments or claim forms for family members to file.

    Family members who reside with their sponsors in a TRICARE Prime Remote (TPR) location at the time of the sponsor's activation may now enroll in the TRICARE Prime Remote for Active Duty Family Members (TPRADFM) program.  As a result of the recent policy change, DoD interprets the reside with clause to include family members who resided in a TPR location with their sponsor and continue to reside in the TPR location after the sponsor departed for their home station, mobilization or deployment site.

    To avoid potential point-of-service charges, active duty family members Enrolled in TRICARE Prime are required to receive care from a primary care manager at an MTF or from a TRICARE Prime network civilian provider.  Family members enrolled in TPRADFM are required to receive care from either a TRICARE network provider or, if a network provider is not available, from any TRICARE-authorized civilian provider.

    TRICARE Standard offers beneficiaries flexibility and greater provider choice. Guard and Reserve families may use any TRICARE-authorized provider; however, the provider's authorization status must be verified by the TRICARE regional managed care support contractor (MCSC) before TRICARE can pay the bill.

    Guard and Reserve family members using TRICARE Standard pay cost shares equal to 20 percent of the TRICARE maximum allowable charge (TMAC) for covered health care services obtained from TRICARE-authorized providers.  Those using TRICARE Extra who receive care from TRICARE network providers pay cost shares equal to 15 percent of TMAC.

 

o TRICARE Reserve Demonstration

 

    The TRICARE Reserve Family Demonstration Project, implemented Sept. 14, 2001, temporarily waives TRICARE Standard and Extra deductibles for Guard and Reserve family members, said Army Maj. Dawn Erckenbrack, program manager, TRICARE Management Activity.  On Oct 31, 2003, the day the demonstration ends, family members who choose not to enroll in TRICARE Prime or TPRADFM may continue using TRICARE Standard or Extra, however they will be responsible for paying TRICARE cost shares and the deductibles once again, Erckenbrack said.

 

o Enrollment Procedures

 

    Activated Guard and Reserve sponsors reporting to a home station or

mobilization site who live within 40 miles of an MTF are required to enroll in TRICARE Prime using their home (residential address).  Sponsors who live outside of the MTF catchment area can enroll using their residential address at the MTF closest to their mobilization site.

    Eligibility for TPRADFM requires sponsors and family members to reside together in a TPR ZIP code.  Therefore, to enroll family members in TPRADFM, the residential address of the sponsor and the family members must be the same in DEERS.  Once family members are enrolled, sponsors are not required to re-enroll family members if they themselves are later relocated to another stateside location or deployed overseas.  Family members may enroll themselves if their sponsors have already been activated or deployed.  Sponsors previously

mobilized whose family members now qualify to enroll in TPRADFM, based on the new "reside with" interpretation, are encouraged to update their residential mailing address in DEERS.  By updating their residential mailing addresses, sponsors re-establish TPR eligibility for their family members regardless of where the sponsor may have originally enrolled.

    To enroll in either TRICARE Prime or TPRADFM, the sponsor or family member must complete and submit a TRICARE Prime enrollment application.  Family members whose applications are received through the 20th of the month are enrolled the first day of the next month.  Family members whose applications are received after the 20th of the month are enrolled the month that follows.  For example, if the application is received June 20, TRICARE Prime or TPR coverage for the family member begins July 1.  If the application is received June 21, coverage

for the family member begins Aug. 1.

    Family members enrolled in TRICARE Prime may transfer their enrollment to another TRICARE Prime location.  However, enrollment in TPRADFM is based on the residential mailing address of the sponsor at time of activation or mobilization.  As a result, TPR families cannot transfer their enrollment to another TRP site but would transfer enrollment to PRIME if they moved to a Prime Service area.

    For some Guard and Reserve family members, especially those currently receiving care from providers outside of the TRICARE network, enrolling in TRICARE Prime or TPR (and thereby using only providers who are part of the TRICARE network) may not be the best option.  For these family members, TRICARE Standard may offer a better health care option.  However, if the family members live in a TPR area and there are no network providers, they may use any TRICARE authorized provider, including their current provider.  Guard and Reserve families must decide which TRICARE option best meets their families' health

care needs.

 

o TRICARE Overseas Prime

 

    Reserve sponsors who permanently reside in U. S. territories or overseas and are ordered to active duty service on federal orders for more than 30 consecutive days, are required to enroll in TRICARE Prime at their mobilization or inprocessing site using their residential mailing address.  They are not required to re-enroll if they relocate stateside or to another TRICARE overseas location.  Their family members remain eligible for TRICARE Overseas Prime if they resided with the sponsor prior to activation and/or mobilization.

    Eligibility for the TRICARE Overseas Prime benefit requires family members to accompany and reside with their sponsors.  Therefore, these family members cannot remain eligible for TRICARE Overseas Prime if they relocate within an overseas TRICARE region, relocate to another TRICARE region, or relocate from a location stateside and transfer to an overseas location.

 

o DEERS Verification/Additional Information

 

    Eligibility for TRICARE is based on the information that is available in DEERS. 

    Sponsors may verify eligibility for themselves and family members by visiting or contacting the nearest military identification card issuing facility or contacting the Defense Manpower Data Center Support Office toll free at 1-800-538-9552.  Sponsors or family members with questions or needing assistance are encouraged to contact their TRICARE regional managed care support contractor or TRICARE service center representative.

    A list of the regional toll-free numbers is available on the TRICARE Web site at http://www.tricare.osd.mil/regionalinfo/.

    An up-to-date version of the TRICARE Handbook is also available online at http://www.tricare.osd.mil/TricareHandbook/.

    Additional information on TRICARE health care benefits for Guard and Reserve and their family members is available online at

http://www.tricare.osd.mil/reserve/.

 

 

Maj. Stephen Layman, APFRI

Spring '03: Return to the great outdoors

 

 

    Ah, Spring! If there was ever a year to be excited about the return of Spring, this may be it. After surviving the long hard winter of '02-'03, it is time to return to the great outdoors and enjoy.

    Some of you have spent many hours at the gym or in your homes trying to maintain good physical fitness despite the "nasty" weather. Others have allowed your fitness program to "hibernate" until Spring and the return of fair weather. Whether your goal is to return to your favorite outdoor sport or just to resume a good outdoor fitness program, there are some fitness guidelines that may be helpful to you. These tips can be divided into two categories: (1) sport specific fitness tips, and (2) general safety/fitness tips which may impact on the enjoyment of your outdoors experience.

 

Sports tips:

 

Introduction: That first warm, sunny day may cause such an "adrenaline rush" you may be tempted to run right out and play without adequate preparation. Whether you're swinging a softball bat,  a golf club, or a tennis racket, it's not wise to start the season without  preparation. Preparing for your sport should begin during the winter months. After being away from a particular sport for a relatively short period of time, there is a tendency to lose some of the flexibility, strength, and endurance which optimize performance while minimizing injury risk. Even if you have worked on your fitness during the winter months, you will still lose much of the "sport specific" fitness you may have achieved during the previous season.

 

Warm-up: Common to all sports or fitness participation is the need for a thorough warm-up before full speed activity. A good warm-up takes 7-15 minutes depending on the sport and the individual's particular needs. For a runner, the warm-up period can be as simple as starting the run at a slower pace during the first 7-10 minutes and then gradually increasing to workout pace.

    Sport specific warm-up should include activities such as sprinting, swinging the appropriate sport implement, or agility drills, which duplicate the actual game event, starting at slower speeds and working up to game pace.  Some stretching is beneficial after a good warm-up period, but may be most beneficial after the work-out or sporting event is concluded.

 

Golf: Flexibility is a key issue with your golf swing. The rotary movement in the shoulders, hips, and low back  require a full range of motion to avoid injury. Performing static stretching for these areas (4-6 reps for 15-20 seconds) will get your body ready for the range of movement required for a good golf swing.  Stretch to a point where tension is felt, but not pain. A dynamic form of stretch is to use a golf club to gently swing through a full golf swing. As you begin to "warm-up,"  you will be able to swing a little further into a normal range of motion and at a progressively faster pace. During the weeks leading up to golf season, you can already have your swing in near game shape.

    Certainly overall strength in the arms, legs, and trunk can affect performance in golf. The mechanics of a good golf swing do not require a "brute" type strength, but an underlying level of lean body mass (muscle) is  important for performance and injury prevention. It generally takes about six weeks of regular strength training to begin to achieve good strength gains. Don't neglect this important aspect of your sport. 

 

Softball: Every spring I have people come to me complaining of shoulder pain shortly after softball season begins. The most common cause is excessive throwing and especially throwing at high velocity too early in the season. Most softball players don't work their shoulder muscles (especially the rotator cuff) into good condition prior to the start of the season. Middle-aged athletes are especially vulnerable to this problem because the blood supply to the rotator cuff region gradually decreases heading into their fourth decade, which in turn  delays healing after injury (including "overuse" injury). A general strengthening program for the upper body during the off season is very helpful, as well as a very deliberate process of throwing the ball shorter and then longer distances and at faster speeds in the weeks leading up to the regular season.

    Hamstring and quadriceps strains are the most common softball injuries we see here at the AWC. The sprint down the first base line is just too much for unprepared muscles and tendons that have not been trained for the activity, are not flexible enough, and are often not warmed-up properly. Sprinting short distances at progressively faster pace is a training prerequisite for running the bases at full speed without experiencing a muscle strain. You have to do things in practice that duplicate actual game conditions, starting with easier, more tolerable levels and gradually working up to game speed.

 

Tennis: Tennis is a game of quick bursts of speed, abrupt stops and starts, and  sudden changes of direction. The stress on multiple lower extremity joints is very high and shoulder overuse of the "serving arm" is very common. Along with the famous "tennis elbow", there are many opportunities to feel pain playing tennis. Strength training is a vital means of improving the musculature of the hips, knees, ankles, and arms which then provide greater protection to those joints. Maintaining good flexibility is very important as well. Agility drills (crossover stepping, sidestepping, backward running, etc.) attempt to duplicate some of the required movements of tennis at a slower, more tolerable speed and gradually build to a faster more "game-like" pace.

 

Think about it: Very bright people often lack common sense when they begin to play a sport. Terms like "weekend warrior" were coined to describe them. You have to be willing to accept some limitation in the amount of time or level of intensity of your sports participation, especially early in the season. Active people in their 20s and early 30s may be able to resume a sport activity with minimal preparation, but the rest of us don't have that luxury anymore. Even in the world of professional sports, athletes now consider themselves year round athletes and spend their entire off season preparing for the next year. We are beginning to see a trend of athletes performing very well into their late 30s and early 40s as a result of this year-round training mindset. By your fourth decade, a regular fitness program is a necessity for health and fitness, but you have to be smart about it, or else injury will keep you on the sidelines and your health and fitness will actually suffer as a result.

 

General tips

 

Check Your Sports Gear: Take the time to check out your sports equipment and determine if everything is in good working order. If something is getting too worn or is damaged, replace it in time to practice with the new equipment before the new season. New sports shoes or a new baseball glove are good examples.

 

Running/sports shoes: The right shoes can have a tremendous impact on your sports performance and in avoiding injury. Do not make the mistake of trying to save a few dollars by making those old shoes last "one more season." Runners should replace their shoes approximately every 500 miles. Depending on the sport and the amount of participation, most athletes should replace their sport shoe after each season. Even though the shoe may appear to be in good condition, the material within the shoe that absorbs shock deteriorates with heavy use and will not provide adequate protection from injury. Be prepared to spend over $50 for a good quality shoe.

 

Street safe:If your sports activity takes you out into the streets (i.e. running/biking), be especially careful during those first weeks in the Spring when drivers are not accustomed to seeing people along the roadways. Bikers follow the same rules of the road as cars and stay in the right lane (as far toward the shoulder of the road as you safely can) and should always wear a bike helmet. Runners should face traffic and run along the left shoulder of the road as much as possible.  Drivers are not always courteous toward those of us sharing the street, so, we have to be prepared to move out of the way. You just can't win when you're up against vehicles weighing more than 4000 pounds. Assume the driver cannot see you to avoid accidents.

 

Hydration/heat: It takes weeks of acclimatization to transition from cold weather to warm. Our bodies can quickly overheat if we are not properly hydrated and if we are physically overstressed. Remember that medications can also impair the body's ability to handle changes in temperature. Water is still the best mode of replacing fluids although in longer duration events sports drinks may be beneficial in replacing electrolytes. Use good judgment when considering the weather conditions, including the choice of proper apparel and the use of sunscreen.

 

Conclusion: Spring is a rejuvenating time of the year that we can all enjoy if we use wisdom. "Wisdom" is good judgment applied to our knowledge and experience. (I know those of us "over-40" might rather continue in denial, but .).   I look forward to joining you this Spring in the great outdoors!

 

TRICARE release

Itemized billing streamlines TRICARE outpatient care payments

 

 

    The Department of Defense Military Health System converted to "itemized billing" a few months ago to streamline the process for billing uniformed services beneficiaries, third-party payers and persons not eligible for TRICARE for outpatient care received at military treatment facilities.  The new billing approach does not change access to care for TRICARE beneficiaries.  It does, however, change the way those who have other health insurance are billed for outpatient care received at a MTF.

    Previously, outpatient bills were calculated using an all-inclusive or "single rate" per visit.  The single rate covered not only the provider's fees but also fees for laboratory, radiology and pharmacy services received during an outpatient visit.  Under itemized billing, each outpatient service or treatment provided is clearly annotated on the claim form (billing statement for non-DoD patients,) along with all

associated charges.  In addition to the itemization of charges for services received during an outpatient visit, MTFs are now also able to bill-third party payers for prescriptions filled from orders received from physicians within the MTF.

    The move to itemized billing came as a result of the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act that required the MHS to conform to industry billings standards; the Fiscal Year 2000 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that required DoD apply reasonable charges when billing third-party payers and non-DoD beneficiaries; and from concerns expressed by beneficiaries and third-party payers that the all-inclusive single rate was too ambiguous for use in processing claims.

    Overall, the transition to itemized billing is a win-win situation.   Beneficiaries who have OHI and receive care at a MTF can now receive an explanation of benefits and bill that clearly identify the health care services received and their associated cost.  DoD benefits from the collections received, which can be put toward resources to support medical services and other patient-related initiatives at MTFs. 

Third-party payers also receive a benefit.  Claims submitted by DoD are now similar to claims submitted by civilian providers, which creates assurance for payers third- party payments made to DoD mirror established industry practices.

    While DoD's initial efforts have focused exclusively on outpatient care, plans are underway to convert billing practices for inpatient care to itemized billing later this year.

    Beneficiaries who have questions or concerns about an itemized bill or EOB should contact their regional managed care support contract claims processor or TRICARE service center representative.  A list of local and regional toll-free telephone numbers is available on the TRICARE Web site at www.tricare.osd.mil/regionalinfo/

    Third-party payers with questions are encouraged to contact the billing office of the MTF submitting the bill.  General DoD medical billing information is also available by submitting questions by e-mail to the DoD Uniform Business Office at ubo@tma.osd.mil or by calling (866) STI-4UBO (866) 784-4826.