The Fort Huachuca Exceptional Family Member Program, or EFMP, recently received a perfect score on their portion of the Department of Defense Army Community Service Accreditation, for meeting all Category I standards and receiving full points for all Category II standards.
The EFMP is a mandatory enrollment program that works with other military and Civilian agencies to provide comprehensive and coordinated community support, housing, educational, medical and personnel services to Families with special needs.
“We are there to assist service members with those Family members, whether a child or adult, that have a medical or educational special need,” said Audrey Peterson-Hosto, EFMP manager. “We provide services on-installation and refer to services off-installation. We’re really that go-to advocacy for Soldiers and their Family members so they can get connected in the new community.”
Peterson-Hosto explained that Army Community Service is required to get reaccredited every three years and the EFMP is only one component of that accreditation. But the EFMP itself is made up of multiple components as well, such as the medical, personnel and Child Youth and School Services components.
“EFMP is a large part of that ACS accreditation simply because they’re not only looking at us here, but they are looking at all those other components that are part of the whole EFMP team on the installation,” said Peterson-Hosto.
One would think working with so many people and agencies could make communication and organization difficult to manage, but the EFMP manager didn’t see it that way.
“We didn’t do it on our own. It was the fact that everybody worked as a team on this installation so that we were able to be successful,” she said. “If any one component fails the accreditation, the entire EFMP program fails, but that wasn’t the case. We not only met all the [Category I] standards but for all Category II areas, the team received full points.”
It comes down to teamwork and a positive attitude, according to Peterson-Hosto. She gave credit to the entire ACS and EFMP staff.
During the most recent accreditation process, Marilyn Whitehurst, the accreditation program specialist, told Peterson-Hosto that she has never been to an installation where there has been such great teamwork as Fort Huachuca.
“She says that Fort Huachuca is the model of EFMP,” she added.