I need your help with a project at work. Today, I’m looking for your suggestions about “wellness programming.” I’m on a mission to learn.
The university medical center where I work recently acquired a local fitness center operation here in Jackson, Mississippi. Its 4 branch facilities are being re-branded as University Wellness Centers.
Some of the readers here may know that academic medical centers are filled with committees–committees of the medical school, committees of the hospital, joint committees, ad hoc committees, etc. The list seems endless. For faculty members, there’s ordinarily a constant rotation of committee assignments.
Finally, I’ve gotten a new committee assignment that I’m looking forward to! I’m one of a group of physicians who will serve on a physician advisory board for the new Wellness Centers. We had our first meeting the other day and I’m excited about the possibilities.
One of our charges is to advise the Wellness Center management team about wellness programming. I think this is a terrific opportunity to help improve the health of our community. I’m looking for ideas that would:
- Improve cardiovascular health in our community
- Make use of the expertise and resources at our medical center
- Provide fellowship and promote a sense of community
- Be fun for the participants.
I’ll give you one example of what I’m talking about–the Heart to Start program at Providence Health & Services in Oregon. Developed by James Beckerman, M.D., and now organized at two sites in the Portland area, the program enrolls participants in a 13-week training plan to walk or run in a 5k, 10k, or half marathon event. This free program includes workout plans, heart-healthy resources, and a supportive online community. Participants can participate in person or virtually on Facebook. The photographs tell the story here–many smiling faces at the finish line.
This is just one program that has caught my attention. Perhaps you’re aware of other programs in your own community. Maybe you’ve participated. I’d love to hear about your experiences.
Please leave a comment or send me an email with your suggestions.