Impact Brief – Feb. 2022
The Department of Defense’s (DoD) Building Healthy Military Communities (BHMC) has expanded to three additional states: Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas. NACDD, with support from CDC, is playing an integral role in supporting the new State Coordinators by connecting them to Chronic Disease Directors, their staff, and other public health system partners and by providing subject matter expertise on tobacco use prevention and cessation, physical activity, and nutrition.
The BHMC pilot is a Congressionally mandated pilot aimed at better understanding and mitigating the unique challenges faced by geographically dispersed Service members, recruits, and their families, many of whom live off the installation. BHMC State Coordinators are helping align the health priorities of the state and the readiness priorities of the military departments to improve the health and readiness of the U.S. military forces and their families.
This work is critical not only for active-duty Service members, but also reserve component Service members. The reserve component is comprised of the Air and Army National Guard and the Reserve forces for each service branch. In 24 states, there are more reserve component Service members than active duty. As permanent residents of the state they live in, reserve component members serve the dual role of part-time Service member and full-time community member. They often do not have access to the same services and benefits of full-time, active-duty members of the force and rely more on community-based resources. This makes them an ideal population for public health interventions.
Through the technical assistance that NACDD provides, BHMC pilot states have been able to support both reserve component and active-duty Service members and their families. To learn more about how states are partnering with their military, check out our Healthy Military Communities webpage.
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