February is Healthy Heart Month

By Ann Bermudez, Army Medicine Public Affairs

Heart disease, the leading killer of Americans, doesn’t just suddenly happen. It takes decades to develop, and your risk increases as you age.

Young adults (those born in the millennial era, from 1982 to 2002) have a unique opportunity to help parents and other family members improve their heart health and prevent heart disease.

A record number of young adults are likely to live with their parents instead of alone, with roommates or with a friend.

Young adults also are more likely than previous generations to respect their elders and report having fewer fights with their parents.

All this adds up to a golden opportunity to have a heart-to-heart with mom and dad about their health. Even if you don’t live at home, you can talk to your parents and other relatives to get them thinking about ways to protect their heart for the long haul.

Heart disease is a serious medical condition, but knowing how to prevent or manage heart disease can help save your life or the life of someone you love.

Take the Heart Disease Quiz. Test your knowledge about heart disease with six quick questions.

Then go to Next Steps.

Medical Readiness Classification 4 Reset

Being medically ready is critical for a deployable Soldier as Soldiers must be ready to fight and win today’s wars as part of globally integrated operations.

All Soldiers are assigned a Medical Readiness Classification of 1 to 4. The class of MRC 4 consists of Soldiers whose medical and dental status is unknown. These Soldiers are therefore non-deployable.

Currently, more than 144,000 Soldiers across all Army components are considered non-deployable for various medical and dental reasons. Of this population, 55,000 Soldiers need only an annual periodic health assessment or a dental exam (or both) to be removed from their MRC 4 status.

What is the Army doing?

Beginning Dec. 5, 2016 through March 31, 2017, the Army’s goal is to execute an Armywide reset to ensure that all Soldiers currently classified as MRC 4, as well as those Soldiers whose annual PHA and dental exams become due in 12 months, complete these critical health readiness assessments.

Army Medicine has been closely collaborating with Headquarters, Department of the Army G-1 and its regional health commands to diligently request and assess feedback from the field in order to successfully execute this mission.

What continued efforts are planned for the future?

The Army Medical Command developed tools to assist unit leaders in managing their Soldier’s medical readiness. For example, Soldiers can view their individual medical readiness status on Army Knowledge Online (My Medical).

Soldiers should avoid being a no-show for appointments, which not only fails to complete the exam, but also blocks that appointment from being filled by another Soldier. It is a commander’s responsibility to assess the Solder’s mission readiness in order to execute current and future mission requirements.

Why is this important to the Army?

Readiness is the Army’s No. 1 priority. Increasing the medical readiness of the Army will provide more combat power to the combatant commanders, which will effectively support globally integrated operations and mission planning around the world.

Resolving MRC 4 deficiencies also will help determine a baseline rate for MRC 4, which will enhance predictability, improve future readiness projections, and better determine access-to-care requirements at military treatment facilities.

This MRC 4 initiative will help commanders maximize the number of medically ready personnel they have for future mission requirements.

In addition, this effort will demonstrate to stakeholders that the Army is doing everything possible to maintain mission readiness.

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