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Photo Caption:  Col. Timothy Hudson and Lt. Col. Ann Andrews talk Performance Triad at the NBC4 Health & Fitness Expo in Washington DC, January 11-12, 2014. Photo by Mike O'Toole.

January 28, 2014
Mike O'Toole, Army Medicine Public Affairs

NBC4 in Washington, D.C., hosted its 21st Annual Health and Fitness Expo at the D.C. Convention Center in January. The venue provided Army Medicine an opportunity to share its Performance Triad messages regarding its 3 tenants: sleeping better, moving more throughout the day, and making better nutrition choices.

Army Medicine's booth solicited visitor participation by presenting a series of photo displays aimed at separate segments of the Performance Triad campaign targets -- Soldiers, spouses, and retirees- and asked for their feedback, either written or verbal. The reasoning behind this effort is that "the message needs to be modified to make sure it resonates with that population," says Col. Timothy Hudson, System for Health lead. "So, where better to get that type of feedback then at a massive convention-like event where you have 85,000 people coming through," he said.

Hudson explained that he and his team shared literature with booth visitors. They were able to get specific feedback on the marketing, content, tag-ons etc.

"We were able to find out immediately if certain things resonated with them or not," said Hudson.

One visitor to the booth, a former Army captain who served as an intelligence officer in Iraq, was enamored with a campaign poster aimed at active duty Soldiers, depicting a weightlifter, that was captioned "Get Fit, Not Injured." She liked that the message steered away from the old ethos of "walking off" injuries. Another visitor, a civilian marketing professional affiliated with a veteran's support group, liked the warmth emitting from the couple depicted in a poster captioned "10 Effective Sleep Habits for Adults." Another female veteran lamented about what she perceived as the lack of clearly depicted male spouses of female Soldiers among the spouses products selections. Several observers enjoyed the humorous depiction of a dog with an alarm clock wearing a sleep mask above the caption "Know How to Get Quality Sleep."

This was Army Medicine's first exposure at what has been a major event in the Nation's Capital for more than two decades.

"As Army Medicine continues its transition from health care to health, we believe we have a message that can positively influence the overall health of the nation," says Col. Jerome Buller, Army Medicine's Director of Communications.

"Annual events like the Health and Fitness Expo provide a platform for us to engage and share our experiences with the population at large and we intend to have a more robust presence at these events going forward," he said.