Making Things Happen for the Client and the Business, Part 2

Making the difference

Since three smaller commercial centers already occupied the community’s “fit niche,” Conway decided to go after deconditioned individuals who are traditionally intimidated by the idea of joining a fitness facility. “Even though 80 percent of our clientele is not ‘sick’ so to speak, the fact that we are associated with the hospital makes them feel more comfortable coming here,” Storie says. Since the facility opened last January, the staff has helped numerous high-risk patients get on the fitness track.

One client, an overweight diabetic male, has lost 27 pounds since joining the facility in February and has cut his daily insulin dosage by 50 percent. “When he started coming here, he could do 10 minutes max on the treadmill,” says fitness coordinator Karl Lenser. “Now he’s in here at least five out of seven days and does 55 minutes on the cross-country ski machine.” Another success story, Lenser says, is an arthritic woman in her early 60s who has lost 58 pounds through aquatics classes and treadmill walking.

Prior to joining Conway, he says, the woman was completely sedentary and at high risk for a number of health complications. “There’s a real need for health education and health changes in this community and hopefully we are the hub of those changes,” Lenser says. “Hopefully we’re making the difference.”

Adding to the Conway health and fitness center’s list of achievements is the fact it operates as its own entity, separate from the hospital. All maintenance, housekeeping, accounting, payroll and administrative services are expensed to the health and fitness center, in addition to its normal operations expenses. “Financially, we operate as a separate corporation and are not subsidized by the medical center,” Storie says proudly.

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