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The XLRP to health

Program designed to help JBLM’s senior leaders

The Executive Leader Readiness Program at Madigan Army Medical Center is a holistic health and fitness program designed for senior Army leaders. Photo credit: Courtesy image

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The Executive Leader Readiness Program, or XLRP, creates a time for senior commanders, command sergeants major, eligible GS-15s, and their significant others to pause and reflect on their personal and families' holistic health and fitness.

The program director is Lt. Col. Lisa Buckles, a nurse practitioner; the co-director is Dr. Karen Lesniak, a civilian clinical psychologist; both work at the Madigan Army Medical Center.

"In a similar way to how the Army's Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F) brings a holistic approach towards supporting and improving the performance of soldiers, the XLRP brings these principles to the support and improvement to the health of I Corps' senior leaders," explained Buckles.

"Prevention strategies that are the basis of the XLRP are key to living a healthy life of vitality." 

Designed with an interdisciplinary approach, participants are evaluated by specialists from primary care, physical therapy, behavioral health, sleep medicine, nutrition, the Armed Forces Wellness Center (AWFC), chaplain services and the Ready & Resilient Performance Centers (R2PC).

Both Buckles and Lesniak were invited to participate in the early XLRP development work group meetings due to their backgrounds and interest in health and wellness. Participation in the XLRP is voluntary.

"The planning and development of the XLRP began in July 2020 ... with the purpose to promote, improve, conserve or restore leaders' physical, mental and spiritual well-being," continued Buckles.

Programs like the XLRP have been functioning successfully at other military bases to include Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and Landstuhl, Germany.

The XLRP is comprised of two parts, both of which are held at Madigan. The first part of the program begins with the couple being seen at the same time by two different providers.

"A thorough comprehensive exam is completed that includes labs, a battery of pre-assessment questionnaires and physical exam. At this time the participants are issued equipment to evaluate their sleep: both an actigraph and WatchPAT. The actigraph is worn for 10 days and tracks sleep quality. The WatchPAT, worn for one night, is an at home sleep apnea monitor," explained Buckles.

The second part of the program is conducted approximately a month later. This part of the XLRP is comprised of three consecutive half-day mornings that involve the interdisciplinary clinical team.

"Participants are seen by AFWC, nutrition, sleep medicine, health psychology, a chaplain and R2PC staff. On the third day the participants are presented with an out brief portfolio that includes the recommendations from each of the interdisciplinary members," continued Buckles.

XLRP participants go through the program once. Their participation is charted and their out brief portfolio is uploaded into their medical records. If a participant transfers to another installation that has a similar program, his or her participation is noted in their medical records.

"Each of the leader and spouse participants who have taken part in the XLRP, from the pilot through the program going live, have indicated the benefit they found in taking part," concluded Buckles. "Participant program satisfaction is very high."

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