Wellness Programming: Looking for Suggestions

Photo Mar 10, 5 01 20 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Related Posts:

  1. Book Review: Heart to Start

Book Review: Cardiac Athletes

CardiacAthletesBookHot off the press is a new book by Lars Andrews, entitled simply, Cardiac Athletes.  I had a chance to read the book over the July 4th holiday weekend and I thought I’d share some details here at the blog.  I enjoyed the book and recommend it highly.

Lars Andrews is the founder of Cardiac Athletes, the worldwide support community for athletes with heart disease.  I’ve written previously here at the blog about the organization’s many activities.  You can find them online at their website and also on Facebook.  If you’re an athlete with heart disease, you’ll find an active online forum that helps athlete patients make useful connections with others in similar circumstances.  On the charitable front, the organization raises money to support donation of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) to communities in need and to support cardiac screening programs for athletes.

This new book will be good reading for a variety of folks–athletes, of course, with heart disease; healthcare workers who care for these athlete patients; and pretty much anybody who enjoys reading inspirational personal stories from athletes.

Andrew LaGerche, MBBS, PhD, a physician-scientist, himself a talented endurance athlete, and with a long professional interest in athletes and heart disease, writes a great Foreword.  In the Preface, Andrews details the history and evolution of the Cardiac Athletes organization and sets the stage for the remainder of the book.  The Introduction features his take on 10 repeating themes that will be found in the athlete stories:  cardiac athletes are pioneers; we need sports cardiology centres; are we starting to see a post athletic epidemic?; would preschool screening be bad?, among others.

The bulk of the book is a collection of the personal stories from 17 athletes affected by heart disease.  Each athlete shares his/her journey from the discovery of their problem, through its diagnosis and treatment, and the long-term consequences.  In many cases, there are illustrations which bring clarity to the specific heart problem being described.  This is very helpful to non-medical readers who won’t be familiar with the details.  Each chapter is a rare, honest look at how these athletes approach sport in the context of heart disease.  These stories are just very real.

At the end is a useful glossary of terms that will make the book more accessible and also a useful reference, or reading list.

The book is currently available in print form for $14.98 from Create Space.  Proceeds from the book will go to the Cardiac Athletes Trust Fund to support the organization’s charitable activities.