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 July 09, 2010

Community

Senior leaders use AFAP forum to review new, active issues

Fort McCoy senior leaders met at Army Community Service (ACS) to discuss and determine the status of prior Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) conference issues pertaining to the Fort McCoy community.

Local AFAP conferences are held yearly at installations to discuss “quality-of-life” issues that affect the well-being of Soldiers, civilians, retirees, and their respective Families. These issues are solicited from the Total Army Family year-round. Issues are reviewed at the conference by volunteers to determine if policies already are in place or if issues should be sent to higher Major Army Command (MACOM) levels.
PHOTO: Volunteers participate in Fort McCoy’s FY10 Army Family Action Plan conference, which was held in October 2009. File photo
Volunteers participate in Fort McCoy’s FY10 Army Family Action Plan conference, which was held in October 2009. Volunteers and issues for the FY11 AFAP conference are being sought by Aug. 13. File photo

When an issue is sent forward to a MACOM level, dispositions are received from those AFAP conferences to let the installation and issue submitter know the status of the issue.

Semiannual Issue Update Forums also are held at Fort McCoy with the garrison commander and senior leaders to determine if the issue is deemed active, completed, or unattainable.

Following are the issues reviewed at the latest Fort McCoy AFAP Update Forum:

From the fiscal year (FY) 10 AFAP conference, came an issue regarding Glucagon injection for diabetic youth in Child, Youth, & School (CYS) Services care. Current Army policy prohibits CYS Services staff from administering Glucagon in an emergency; a first responder must be called to administer an injection for a severe episode of hypoglycemia in diabetic children within their care.

Glucagon is a life-saving, injectable hormone (which is made naturally in the pancreas) that raises blood glucose levels by stimulating the liver to release stored glucose. Glucagon only can be administered when the child is unconscious or having seizures. Prohibiting the injection of Glucagon by CYS Services staff affects all diabetic youth within CYS Services care. A severe hypoglycemic event is a situation that can turn dangerous quickly, resulting in coma, brain damage, or death.

The FY10 Fort McCoy AFAP recommendation was to change Army policy to allow CYS Services staff to administer Glucagon and /or other lifesaving interventions in an emergency.

It also was recommended that training be authorized for CYS Services staff to administer glucagon injections in an emergency. This issue was forwarded for consideration to MACOM-level conferences.

Access to Fort McCoy’s dining facilities also was an FY10 Fort McCoy AFAP conference issue. The following individuals are not authorized to eat in a dining facility without prior approval: Family members/dependents of military personnel; Department of Defense (DoD) civilians and DoD contractors working on Fort McCoy; retired military personnel; and guests. Fort McCoy is a remote installation with limited dining options. Heavy workload/high operations tempo and time constraints adversely affect the morale of the Fort McCoy community. FY10 Fort McCoy AFAP conference delegates recommended the dining facilities allow access to the aforementioned patrons on a continuous basis. The issue was presented to the Fort McCoy Installation Legal Office to determine if it is possible to pursue this on a trial basis. The issue remains active.

Several issues from past years also were reviewed. More information about past Fort McCoy AFAP issues, including their resolution or current status, can be found at the ACS Academy website http://www.mccoymwr.com/ACS/AFAP.htm.

As evidenced from the updates of the above issues, local policy, regulation and legislative changes can and do come about from the AFAP program. Soldiers, civilians, retirees, and Family members in the Fort McCoy community are encouraged to participate in the process and make their voices heard. They can do this by volunteering to be part of the AFAP process and/or submitting their “quality-of-life” issues and/or volunteer nominations to the Fort McCoy AFAP.

Issues and Volunteer Nomination Forms are due by Friday, Aug. 13 to be reviewed at the October 20-21 Fort McCoy FY11 AFAP conference. Issue and volunteer forms, and more information about Fort McCoy’s AFAP program, are available at the ACS Academy website, or by calling 608-388-3540.

(Submitted by Fort McCoy Army Community Service.)

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