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Tampa General, Home Base team up to help veterans with PTSD

by | Oct 5, 2021


Tampa General Hospital (TGH) and Home Base are teaming up to help Tampa Bay area veterans develop healthy ways to build resiliency against post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety.

TGH and Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital program, are forming a partnership to create a free health and fitness program. The Home Base Warrior Health & Fitness program will be based at the TGH Fitness Center located on the hospital’s main campus and led by trained fitness specialists.

The partnership to bring the Home Base Warrior Health & Fitness program to Tampa Bay will combine Home Base’s outreach and programming expertise while leveraging TGH’s existing wellness and clinical platform to provide meaningful services to veterans. The program is designed to improve health and well-being through supervised physical exercise, education about healthy eating and living a healthy lifestyle, along with ways to incorporate stress management with an emphasis on the health benefits of physical activity.

“Part of achieving our vision of being the safest and most innovative academic health system in America is to address the root causes of health issues that plague our community, one of those being the challenges veterans face after they transition from serving our country to everyday life,” said John Couris, president and CEO, Tampa General Hospital. “We’re proud to help veterans in the Tampa Bay region by providing the first step in developing a healthy lifestyle and teaching positive ways to manage stress. We are honored to give back to those who’ve given us so much.”

Home to MacDill Air Force Base and U.S. Special Operations Command, the Tampa Bay region has the 27th largest population of veterans in the country totaling 98,000, according to the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs. These veterans and their families, like many around the country, can struggle with battling the invisible wounds of combat, including post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, anxiety, depression, substance abuse disorders, family relationship challenges, and other issues.

Home Base Warrior Health and Fitness Program participants will receive a 90-day complimentary membership to the TGH Fitness Center, which includes up to three complimentary one-hour training sessions per week. Participants will consult with a TGH Registered Dietitian and take part in a hands-on, step-by-step cooking class. They will also receive unlimited access to virtual and live group fitness classes and can use the TGH Fitness Center app for tracking health metrics, scheduling and more.

“Home Base was founded to heal the invisible wounds carried by veterans,” said Armando Hernandez, program director, Home Base SWFL and U.S. Marine veteran. “There is an abundance of information on the mental health benefits of exercise and healthy habits. Participants in our programs in Boston and Southwest Florida have experienced improved physical health and the lessening of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression.”

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