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Health and Fitness

31st Medical Group obstetric care/off-base referrals
Every day, at all hours, the 31st Medical Group is working hard to take care of any pregnant patient who walks through its doors. As is the case in many small communities, rumors develop and over time, myths seem to take hold as the truth. In reality, the technicians, nurses, doctors and midwife are always waiting to deliver the next precious member of the Aviano family.

The 31st MDG would like to dispel some of the rumors that have been circulating regarding child birth at the 31st MDG obstetric or 'OB' wing. In 2010, 209 babies were delivered safely; and while it would be convenient, many deliveries do not occur during normal business hours.

"If I go into labor after hours, I can't deliver in Aviano."
Fact: Services are offered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In fact, 40% of the 31st Medical Group's babies are delivered after normal business hours.

Rumor: "There's a high likelihood that I will not be able to deliver in Aviano because they might be too busy and send me to Pordenone."
Fact: In the past 18 months, Labor & Delivery has only had to send one mother off-base for delivery due to capacity or facility issues.

Rumor: "I can't get my epidural if I come in too late."
Fact: It is rarely "too late." Patients should ask their doctors about epidurals to understand the process. Over 85 percent of the 31st MDG's patients receive an epidural during their labor.

Rumor: "If I am fewer than 36 weeks pregnant, I will be sent to Pordenone if I go in to labor."
Fact: No matter how far along a woman is, she should call Labor & Delivery to be evaluated in the 31st MDG Hospital first. If she is in active labor and fewer than 36 weeks, it is safer for both mom and the baby to be transferred to an Italian hospital by ambulance.

Rumor: "Lots of pregnant women are sent to Italian hospitals to have their baby even if there is room at Aviano."
Fact: In the past 18 months, only 28 patients have been referred to Italian hospitals due to high risk pregnancies.

The 31st Medical Group is dedicated to providing its patients the best care, anywhere. Services are offered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to include nights, weekends and holidays. For concerns or questions about the above rumors or others you have heard, call the 31st MDG at DSN 632-5863 or Labor & Delivery multi-service unit at DSN 632-5866.

PT Policy
Q. What is the policy of wearing PT Gear once one has completed his or hers PT requirement. I have seen a trend of personnel going to the post office, BX, commissary, golf club house to check their mail, shopping or getting something to eating. I personally do not think that wearing of the PT Gear after one has completed the exercise program to go to any of the facilities mentioned above, not until one has cleaned up and wears the proper uniform when attending this facilities. What is the current policy on the wear of PT Gear locally?

A: Thanks for your comment and concern regarding the Aviano uniform wear policy. All members at Aviano are expected to present a professional military image at all times. According to AFI 36-2903, all individuals must keep their uniforms "neat, clean, pressed, buttoned, and properly maintained."

The 31st FW does not have a local policy specifically addressing the PT uniform wear specific to the situations you've described. Because the PT uniform is an official Air Force uniform, the standards that apply in AFI 36-2903 also apply to the PT uniform. It's expected that all supervisors and members identify and enforce the professional standards if they are in question or compromised. Rather than impose restrictions or specify limitations as to the locations where personnel can wear the PTU uniform, I challenge all Airman to enforce the AF standards each and every day to ensure the professional military image of each member is preserved. As we review and update our Community Standards, I will, however, take your thoughts into consideration.

Fitness Center weekend hours
Why isn't the Falcon Fitness Center (Area 2) open on the weekends? 

A: During the 2008 calendar year, the Falcon Fitness Center (Area 2 gym) was open Monday thru Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. Due primarily to customer feedback, extremely low headcounts, and high operations/deployment tempo of 31st Force Support Squadron members, these hours were modified on Jan. 5, 2009. The new hours are Monday thru Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. (closed on the weekends).

The primary driver for this decision was the utilization rate of the Falcon Fitness Center. During the aforementioned 12-month span, the Falcon Fitness Center averaged only four customers per hour, or an average of 16 total per day on Saturdays.

The new additional hours on the weekdays now allow customers enough time to comfortably workout, change, and go to work before 8 a.m. The overwhelming majority of reoccurring customers are Squadron's conducting PT sessions during the duty week, personnel from Area 1 & Area 2 and spouses who use the children's play area and participate in the Mom's & Tot's Aerobics class. 

Dragon Fitness Center hours
Why can't the Dragon Fitness Center be open 24 hours a day?

A: The Dragon Fitness Center is open 115 hours per week, which exceeds the Air Force Instruction 34-266 requirement of 112 hours per week. Currently, the main fitness center is open Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and weekends from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. There are also numerous mini-fitness centers approved for usage in Area F, as well as the Area 2 Falcon Fitness Center, which is open 66.5 hours per week, which exceeds the AFI 34-266 Satellite Fitness Center hours of operation requirement by more than double.

As far as the idea of having a 24-hour operation, unfortunately the attendance numbers just don't support it, nor do the current manning authorizations support extending the current hours of operation. I

Overcrowded Dragon Fitness Center locker rooms
The women's locker room is extremely crowded during the peak hours of 6:30-8:30 a.m. Monday thru Friday. I have seen as many as eight women waiting their turn to use the shower. Given the high number of female enlisted, company grade officers, Department of Defense employees, civilian workers and dependents who use the gym at this time, the shower area is in desperate need of an expansion.

A: Base leadership is aware of this issue and the need for additional shower stalls in the Dragon Fitness Center's female locker room to meet the demand of its patrons. With that said, two additional shower stalls have been added (in September 2008), for a total of six stalls in all. This should help alleviate the problem and drastically reduce, if not eliminate, wait times. 

Falcon Fitness Center expansion/hours
Can the Falcon Fitness Center in Area 2 be expanded and hours of operation improved? 

A: A fitness center expansion project is on the books waiting funding and is scheduled for Fiscal Year 2014. The 31st Fighter Wing recognizes the need for an expansion of this facility and the impact it has on the community fitness needs. The hours of operation currently are conducive with the foot traffic in that facility. The hours of operation for the Falcon Fitness Center are Monday thru Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Smoking in designated areas
Can the base better ensure people are not smoking in no-smoking areas?

A: It is up to everyone on base to enforce the no-smoking areas rules by personally or asking commanders, senior NCOs and first sergeants to address the issue with the person smoking.