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New program aims to help Airmen get healthy faster

Fairchild Air Force Base is taking a holistic approach to combat chronic injuries and help Airmen get back to the fight.

SPOKANE, Wash.-- Delivering air fuel around the world is hard work and can take a toll on Airmens' bodies.

To reduce the hard toll, Fairchild Air Force Base is taking a holistic approach to combat chronic injuries and help Airmen get back to the fight.

In January, The 92nd Medical Group at Fairchild Air Force Base started the Human Cell Program (HPC), an innovative and unique program that focuses on helping injured Airmen recover from their injuries.

92nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Superintendent Chad Ream is one of the first Fairchild airmen to go through the HPC program. He's been enlisted for more than 25 years and manages occupational hazards that come along with the job.

"Prior to starting the program I had consistent back pain every day, it didn't matter day or night, it just hurt all the time," said Ream.

The HPC program helps Airmen by addressing physical fitness, performance nutrition, and positive social and spiritual relationships.

"We can have the clinical care piece and that's great, but we're always going to be reactive and we want it to be proactive in this program as well. We are looking at it from a proactive stand point, as well as a clinical care and reactive approach, so it's a very holistic program,” said Will Saultes, Health and Human Performance Coordinator and Integrator.

The program is composed of a multitude of medical specialists including a primary care manager, orthopedic provider, physical therapist and their assistants, as well as a psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, registered dietitian, a strength and conditioning coach and an aerospace physiologist for the Behavior Health Optimization Program.

All health care providers are delivering one-on-one, personalized care to each group within the 92nd Air Refueling Wing.

The proactive approach was inspired by the increase of musculoskeletal injuries in the Air Force and military and has two phases. The first phase targets the recovery and healing of injured Airmen.
The priority of the second phase is on performance optimization to prevent future injuries.

"Jumping into the program, the exercises we do the reps that we do the correct way to do it, now that's gotten me to the point, I don't have back pain every day," said Ream.

This new program is projected to increase deployability rates and reduce duty-limiting profiles by 60 percent while preventing injuries down the line.