Medical Fitness Success

A hospital-based facility, the Fitness Center at High Point Regional, has a diverse makeup of members and programs.

The Fitness Center at High Point Regional is a 13,000-square-foot community facility located on the campus of High Point Regional Health System in High Point, N.C. Being a hospital-based facility, the fitness center has a diverse makeup of members and programs. Explains Director Bob Forman, "Many of our members are graduates from our Heart Strides cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation program, which is housed and operated within the fitness center, while the remainder are individuals who live and work in the community. As a not-for-profit center, our goal is to provide exceptional preventive healthcare that is affordable to all people of our region."

Various programs are available, most of which take advantage of the hospital-based location. Fitness assessments, nutrition counseling, metabolic testing and massage therapy are all offered. Population-specific programs address some of the more serious healthcare needs of members, including CancerFITT, a 12-week exercise program for cancer survivors; The Plan, a 12-week weight-management/loss program; the four-week Low Back Exercise Class; a post-operative exercise component for bariatric patients; and an eight-week TeenFITT program for adolescents. Says Forman, "These programs help us to build bridges with various departments in the hospital, enhancing carepaths and the continuum of care, as physicians can refer and/or recommend patients to these vital interventions. We ... are [also] getting involved more with disease management programs for local businesses and organizations." For "regular" fitness members, the facility offers personal training and sport-specific personal coaching packages for running, cycling and golf.

Whatever type of membership participants have, or program they participate in, they all receive personalized attention. "Living up to the medical model, one of the distinct features of our facility is the level of supervision and guidance that all of our members receive. We are diligent in our monitoring of members before, during and after exercise sessions. We also track and produce outcomes from both individual and group programs to determine effectiveness, enhance motivation and improve retention," Forman explains.

All staff members at the High Point fitness center are employees of High Point Regional, are degreed from an accredited college or university, are CPR- and AED-certified, and have certifications in their respective fields. They include board-certified physicians, exercise physiologists, respiratory therapists, registered nurses, registered dieticians and licensed massage therapists.

In addition to the usual types of marketing, the fitness center offers outreach in the community, such as workshops on various wellness topics to church groups, local businesses and organizations, and nearby schools.

The staff and programs at High Point must be working, as the fitness center has above-average usage numbers. In 2004, the Medical Fitness Association determined usage of a fitness center using the number of square feet per member and the average number of members by facility size, says Forman. For centers 10,000 to 19,999 square feet, the average square-feet-per-member is 10.3, and number of members by size is 1,417. The Fitness Center at High Point has 6.9 square-feet-per-member and 1,875 members. "Our usage is doing very well, and is pretty much balanced from across the diverse spectrum of members that we have. The key has been, and will continue to be... the scheduling of programs so that efficient, cost-effective use of our limited space is obtained," Forman says. High-quality staff and diverse programming also contribute to High Point Fitness Center's success, which offers a great example of the medical-fitness model at its best.

Facility Stats

The Fitness Center at High Point Regional
High Point, N.C.; 336-878-6221

Date fitness center opened: January 2001
Fitness facility size: 13,000 square feet
Number of members: 1,875
Strength equipment: TechnoGym, FreeMotion, Atlantis Smith machine, various Club-Tek benches and cable cross, dumbbells, medicine balls, resistance tubes and bands, Physioballs, balance boards
Cardio equipment: True treadmills, and upright and recumbent cycles; Nu-Steps; Concept2 rowers; Precor ellipticals; Cybex Arc Trainers and upright cycles; Life Fitness ellipticals; Quinton treadmills; Star Trac recumbent cycles and treadmills; upper body ergometers; StairMaster StepMill
Group exercise classes: Group cycling, yoga, Pilates, tai chi, Cardio-Boxing, Stretch
Programs: Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, CancerFITT, The Plan, MedEx, Low Back Class, Winter Training Class, Pre/Post-Operative Bariatric Counseling and Training, TeenFITT, Shepard Care, The Wellness College
Services: Fitness profile assessments, metabolic assessments, massage therapy, nutrition counseling, skin cancer screening, gait analysis and proper shoe fitting clinics, personal training, personal coaching (cycling and running), golf fitness training
Management/fitness assessment software: TouchFit

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