Featuring New Mexico Building Healthy Military Communities

Today we interviewed Susie Galea, State Coordinator for the Building Healthy Military Communities Program in New Mexico. We had the chance to talk to Susie about the current work & challenges in New Mexico. 

 

 

Susie Galea is the project coordinator in New Mexico for the new pilot program, Building Healthy Military Communities.

Susie is the most former Mayor of Alamogordo, NM, where proudly Holloman AFB and a NM Guard Armory are hosted. She also volunteered as an ESGR Area Chairman for Guardsmen, Reservist, transitioning active duty, disabled Veterans, and their spouses.

Susie has firsthand knowledge of all Service Member/Veteran resources, programs, and benefits related to employment, family programs, service delivery, diversity, small-business development for entrepreneurs, and more.  Recognizing the needed services for Guard members that are not yet classified as Veterans under federal legislation, she looks forward to especially coordinating resources for those NM Guard members who are underserved.

Her motivation to serve through Building Healthy Military Communities comes from being a former military spouse of fourteen years.  Susie acutely aware of the sacrifices by those that are Service Members and their supporting family members.

Prior to serving as the mayor of Alamogordo, Susie owned and operated a small childcare development business from her home for 5 years, and also has 15 years experience in accounting management and bookkeeping.  Her bachelors degree is in Organizational Management from Ashford University’s Forbes School of Business.
Over the last five years Susie has established rapport with statewide leaders, to include New Mexico’s Governor, and her state cabinet members that support the military community.  Susie believes in building and maintaining key business relationships, and statewide networks, which will lend to her ability to quickly develop an overall BHMC state action plan addressing identified gaps of services.

 

 

Next week we will take a closer look at the community assessments taking place across New Mexico so that we can better understand how the program works.

The Cooperative Extension System as a Force Multiplier Toward Achieving Total Force Fitness

A few weeks ago we discussed the concept of force-multipliers and gave some background on the Cooperative Extension System, today we’d like to re-focus that conversation to discuss how the CES can work towards achieving Total Force Fitness.  

When working toward total force fitness within military communities, there are three essential questions you can begin with:

  • How do you determine a methodology to assess the health, well-being, and resiliency needs/requirements of your community/population?
  • How do you compare those needs/requirements to the community’s capability to meet those needs?
  • Once you identify gaps in being able to meet your community needs, how do you develop a plan to address these gaps?

The Cooperative Extension System is operated through the nation’s Land-Grant University System in partnership with the federal and state and local governments. As the federal partner, NIFA develops methods to address national priorities, funds and awards grants, and provides program leadership. The agency supports both the universities and local CES offices to bring science directly to the regional and county level.

The Cooperative Extension System (CES) is a nationwide, non-credit educational network that addresses public needs by providing non-formal higher education and learning activities to farmers, ranchers, communities, youth, and families throughout the nation. With an organization that has been operating for over a century, CES is well positioned to efficiently get needed tools and knowledge into the hands of the people who need them.

UNPRECEDENTED REACH

At a time when social, agricultural, food, and environmental challenges are mounting and needs are growing, CES is more relevant than ever. With its wide reach — an office in or near most of the nation’s approximately 3,000 counties — extension agents and educators help farmers grow crops, homeowners plan and maintain their homes, and youth learn skills to become tomorrow’s leaders. Military families and veterans have always been regular users of CES, however, greater emphasis on these populations is underway. The bottom line is that the Cooperative Extension System is a federal agency that has massive community reach, extensive experience in relevant subject areas, and a long history of a solid reputation.

 

Working Toward Total Force Fitness

Total Force Fitness (TFF) is a DoD framework for well-being that views “health, wellness, and resilience and as holistic concept”, requiring “a connection among mind, body, spirt, and social relationships”.

Main Points:

  • *TFF was created by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and became policy in 2011.
  • TFF is the DoD’s 21st Century paradigm for improving Population Health, and includes eight domains of fitness.
  • TFF is a state in which the individual, family and organization can sustain well-being and performance under all conditions.
  • The Services are responsible for implementing TFF Programs.
  • TFF requires the collaboration of the partners in public health.