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A community of health
Col. Robert Rocco, 6th Medical Group commander, meets with members of the Tampa Bay Rays training staff at the Health and Wellness Center, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 22, 2013. The trainers and members of MacDill AFB’s medical staff had an opportunity to discuss healthy living and how to stay healthy while being physically active. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Melissa Paradise/Released)
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A community of health

Posted 1/24/2013   Updated 1/28/2013 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Melissa Paradise
6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

1/24/2013 - MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.  -- Three trainers from the Tampa Bay Rays visited MacDill Air Force Base this week in an effort to build an even stronger partnership between the base and the local community.

Ron Porterfield, Rays head trainer, Mark Vinson, Rays assistant athletic trainer, and Paul Harker, Rays assistant athletic trainer, visited with Airmen from the 6th Medical Group and gave a presentation on the inside workings of baseball from a medical and injury perspective.

"I'm honored to have been asked to come here; it's a learning experience for me," said Porterfield.

They also had an opportunity to tour the orthopedic and physical therapy clinics, the Health and Wellness Center and two fitness centers around base.

"From a health care perspective my staff is always looking for opportunities to meet other health care leaders throughout the community, and because we have three professional sports teams in our town gives us an opportunity to learn from experts in their fields who work with the types of sports related injuries that Airmen are sustaining in their fitness programs," said Col. Robert Rocco, 6th Medical Group commander. "Bringing out the training staff from the Tampa Bay Rays gave us an opportunity to compare notes."

The Rays franchise visits the base multiple times a year.

"We have a wonderful community partnership with the Tampa Bay Rays," said Susan Haley, 6th Medical Group HAWC health promotion dietitian. "They come out here and support our efforts. This is one way we can straighten and continue to foster a community relationship."

Joan Craft, 6th Medical Group HAWC flight chief, showed the trainers some of the unique services the HAWC offers such as the BOD POD and a relaxation room.

While at the fitness center they visited the equipment rooms, the basketball and racquetball courts, and the outdoor track and fitness cell.

"I'm going to take this fitness assessment and put Tampa Bay Rays on it and see if the players meet your standards," said Porterfield.

"We treat baseball like it's life and death when it's really fun and games, but our military treats [working-out] like it's fun and games when it's really life and death," Porterfield said. "We are all truly proud of all of you and what you do for us."

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