In October, Meridian Fitness & Wellness introduced “Recovery to Fitness,” a new medical fitness program developed in conjunction with doctors at Hackensack Meridian Health and Shore Rehabilitation.
The program was designed to help facilitate a transition for patients into a life of fitness and independence after a stroke, being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease or other neurological event.
Meridian Fitness and Wellness COO Julianne Dods said that patients would be able to join the program after graduating from rehabilitation and with physician clearance. “We’re already doing programs like physical therapy and cardiac rehab — this was just a natural next fit for us to give these people a place to be after they finished their normal therapy,” she said.
Participants are encouraged to use the fitness center during designated mid-day hours under the supervision and assistance of a certified personal trainer.
“There’s usually less traffic in the gym during the noon to 3:30 p.m. time frame so the patients are never unassisted, because we are helping them,” she said. “They come to us with a variety of levels of ability — whether it’s getting on to a piece of equipment or help to stretch some tight muscles — someone is there to help.”
Dods emphasized the solid partnership between the wellness center and its rehabilitation center counterpart is the key to being able to successfully provide programs like “Recovery to Fitness” to healing patients.
“It’s all about the relationship and the trust between the two parties,” she said. “We’ve built a nice level of trust between their therapists and our staff.”
Dods added that scheduled events, like education seminars, provide professionals from both networks to familiarize themselves with one another and maintain open lines of communication, minimizing the opportunity for conflict.
“We’re not trying to do things that a doctor or therapist would do, and at the same time they’re not trying to keep [patients] longer than they need to be in some sort of medical treatment — they want them to transition into fitness and into normal life,” she said.
Leave a Reply