Healthplex Featured Wellness Center

Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula (CHOMP) had long been the healthcare leader in Monterey County, CA when they decided in late 2008 that it was time to think “out of the box” and put increased emphasis on wellness and prevention strategies.  There were several considerations:

– A desire to expand their range of services to keep people in the community healthy.

–  A need to strengthen their market presence in the Marina area, north of Monterey, one of the fastest growing parts of their service area.  This was critical to them, as a large property (formerly the Army’s Fort Ord Military Base) was closed and being turned into a large housing and retail service area.  CHOMP’s leadership foresaw the need for healthcare services in that rapidly growing area and wanted to get ahead of the competition.  By creating a multi-purpose wellness and ambulatory care site, they were able to capture and dominate the market.

–  CHOMP services a large number of retired individuals in this area and has created their own Medicare Advantage plan (“ASPIRE”).  The Montage Wellness Center has become a key element in the success of the plan by attracting seniors and keeping them healthy.

With the success of the Marina site, CHOMP’s leadership team then spun off an additional ‘satellite’ wellness center in Salina to extend their dominance in the entire county.

Exercise Prescription Program

Healthplex Associates’ Pascagoula Mississippi club, Singing River Healthplex, was challenged by their client hospital to create a program that would help improve the health and reduce the healthcare costs of high-risk hospital employees.  E-Rx has successfully met that challenge! Participants are seeing a tremendous improvement in metrics. They are experiencing reduced blood pressure, lower A1-C levels, and improved cholesterol.  View this powerful testimony from the Exercise Prescription Program.

EQT REC Center Supports Youth Athletics

Healthplex’s EQT REC Center created a youth wrestling program which began in December of 2020 and continued throughout the winter months. The wrestling program paved the way for a partnership with Central Greene School District and the wrestling boosters club to host two wrestling tournaments in successive months. The first was a youth tournament held at the end of February. With over 230 registrants and four mats packed into the indoor turf field we were able keep non-stop action throughout the day.  The EQT REC Center is proud to have been a part of this incredible feat from local athletes, many of which have trained at our Center.

Taking Care of the Caregivers

Healthplex Fitness Center at St Barnabas Hospital is starting a new program to teach 30-minute exercise clinics for the SBH Staff. The Center will provide a series of brief seminars covering the basics of fitness training while also expanding the staff’s knowledge of how to train safely and efficiently. The program is aimed at staff members of the Hospital who are not confident or comfortable working out in a gym. This clinic is designed to motivate those who are looking to gain the knowledge as well as the confidence to start an exercise routine.

Each clinic will be broken into four different sessions targeting a different aspect of training. Mobility/Flexibility, Strength Building, Fat Burning, and Free Weight Training. The Mobility/Flexibility unit will teach how to prepare the body for the workout, proper lifting mechanics, and posture to help not only for gym workouts, but to improve everyday physical activities. The Strength Building class will focus on teaching how to safely use the strength training machines in the gym. The Fat Burning session will cover how to efficiently use the cardio machines to increase cardio capacity. Finally, Free Weight training will provide advice on proper technique, information on repetition counts, and movement pattern mechanics while using the weights in the gym or at home.

This introductory program is designed not only to get the word out about the Center and the training staff, but also to help the Hospital staff realize that they can work out without having any doubt about whether they are working out efficiently. We are looking forward to providing some knowledge, good service, and of course, a whole lot of fun!

Clinical Small Group Exercise Class

One of our recent highlights at Healthplex’s Mission Fitness has been our Clinical Small Group exercise class. Participants meet 5x/week with our Clinical Integration Coordinator, Zach Cavazos. One of the major benefits of the Clinical Small Group class is that it is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Every participant trains to improve strength, endurance, cardiovascular performance, and balance throughout the week.

“What we admire about the class is the structure and innovative exercises incorporated into the class to improve on our weaknesses,” said Minnie Kikuchi. Zach Cavazos, the clinical lead of the program had this to say, “Guiding the class is my favorite part of the day. I enjoy getting close with the members not only as clients, but as friends.” We have learned many things from this program the past few months. Most importantly, we learned that we must put a focus on improving our health to give our immune systems the ability to stay healthy.

The class is exceeding our expectations in terms of benefits for the participants. For example, it has a huge value with a lot to offer in terms of the usual benefits of exercise.   One aspect we didn’t anticipate is how the social aspect is playing such a huge part in maintaining good mental health. For example, many have noticed having an increasingly positive state of mind.

Membership Services Director Spotlight….Tyler Lowther

Tyler Lowther is the newest addition to the Healthplex Fitness Center team at St. Barnabas. His role in the Bronx Community and the Healthplex will be a dual one.  As the HFC’s Membership Service Director Tyler will help the hospital’s staff begin their journey in wellness.  Tyler will also have a role as a personal trainer and will work with the Center’s Cabrini patients. The Cabrini Grant funds the wellness program and aims to combat chronic illnesses through exercise and nutrition. Tyler is personally committed to “give back” to members of the Bronx Community. He hopes to give the community access to life changing programs they are often left out of.
A native New Yorker, Tyler grew up in Brooklyn and was a competitive archer for over ten years. He was first introduced to archery while attending a youth summer camp in upstate New York. He fell in love with the sport at the age of 13 after participating in a weekend program for inner city kids taught by the Head Coach (also a Brooklynite) of Columbia University’s Varsity Archery Team. Tyler went on to win the first state national archery competition he entered in 2007, held in Nantasket Massachusetts. His stellar performances at the state level earned him a scholarship to Emmanuel College in Georgia, where he captained the varsity archery team for three years, leading them to a national silver medal in 2017 while earning his Bachelor’s of Science in Organizational Communication. Additionally, Tyler earned his personal training certification with the National Academy of Sports Science in 2019.
The sport of archery was Tyler’s introduction to the world of sports performance training. Archery taught him how to develop his mental and physical strength through dedicated training. In addition, it also instilled in him a passion and desire to give back which he is excited to put to practice at the Healthplex Fitness Center at St. Barnabas.

MRMC Wellness Center’s Transition: Focus on Health

2020 made every fitness center re-evaluate their health and alter their regular exercise routines. The Matagorda Regional Medical Center facility was no exception. MRMC Wellness Center’s transition focuses on health, wellness, and safety. As the major wellness resource in our small community, we are a significant part of the community’s focus for improving overall wellness. We also serve as a place to catch up and socialize with friends. The COVID pandemic definitely put a damper on social gatherings and brick and mortar (face to face) group exercise/personal training.

Our south Texas county was one of the hardest hit with Covid infections and our Hospital was full for weeks with patients. It left our members and MRMC team missing one another and counting down the days until the facility could reopen. Throughout all the changes and losses, we count our daily blessings as we adjust and begin a new normal and continue to work on our overall health/wellness. Some of the changes we implemented at the MRMC Wellness Center’s facility were spacing equipment out, limiting total occupancy capacity, wearing masks, taking daily temperature readings, and adding additional cleaning/disinfecting regimens throughout the day.

Cabrini Grant-Healthplex Fitness Center Bronx, New York

The Healthplex team at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx is opening its doors! The members are participants of an innovative wellness program, made possible by the Cabrini Grant from the Mother Cabrini Foundation. What started as a virtual wellness offering, is turning into in-person training.
 With the re-opening of the Center , the Healthplex team is meeting with roughly 60 participants on a weekly basis. The average age of participants in the program is 40 years old. The participants are being referred from multiple medical providers, with each having one, or multiple chronic conditions.
 Lexis Beato, Fitness Professional at HFC, is meeting with a majority of participants, and is educating them on how to develop consistent, safe, and effective fitness routines. Patients who have never exercised in their lives, are coming into the Center on their off days and performing complex movements. For example,  participants are able to perform squats, deadlifts, and even kettlebell swings, thanks to the guidance and cues Lexis is providing.
Many of the participants are forming new friendships. They are also seeing a dramatic increase in their self-esteem, energy levels, and motivation. For instance, participants are reporting that the changes in their mindset are affecting their home lives.  In addition this is motivating them to seek out healthier alternatives to eat and drink. Many are encouraging their family members to make changes to their habits as well. The changes in the participants’ mental states have been so great that even our trainers are making notes of the changes.  Healthplex is proud to be a part of this community effort that is being made possible by the Cabrini Grant.

Wellness Centers and the Olive Garden

Mark Twain is famously quoted as having once said “Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated”. I think the same can be said of the fitness industry today. Many people believe that the Covid 19 pandemic is the death knell of this once growing industry. It certainly is only fair to say that the industry, like our population is sick today. But like Mark Twain was at the time, it is still alive! In this case, I am convinced that it will come back to life, slowly perhaps, but when it does, it will be stronger than ever before.
When I was new to the industry and trying to quickly learn as much as I could from the leading experts, I had the opportunity to attend a seminar (back in the days when we did them in person!). The seminar was led by a man who is considered one of the leading experts on health club management. One of his topics was how successful clubs get through the unavoidable down period of the summer months. His lesson was that it was critical to create attractive programming or even special summer-only memberships; anything just to keep people in the club. For many of us who are experiencing those summers when our clubs become ghost towns, we know it’s tough to survive.
 His point is that a successful club must find a way to generate activity and keep people coming in. He likened it to his theory of the Olive Garden. Think about when you go past a new restaurant at dinner time and find the parking lot empty. Chances are you’ll pass it up until you find an Olive Garden where the parking lot is busy and people are waiting in a line that wraps outside, holding beepers to await their turn. Health clubs are similar. While prospective members will always ask “does it get too crowded in here?”, an empty club can be an even bigger deterrent to membership than a robust crowd.
People are social beings and those who think that the only product of any of our wellness centers is to provide equipment for workouts are just dead wrong. Many of our members can afford to buy quality exercise equipment for home use (and many, in fact, do). But they choose to work out in our centers because of the socialization, friendships, companionship and interactions that they get when they join us. It may come slowly, but just watch; there will be a resurgence to the fitness/wellness industry and it will be huge.