Valley Health fitness center ‘ahead of the game a little’
Posted: November 23, 2012
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — The Valley Health Wellness and Fitness Center entered select company.
Valley Health, which operates Winchester Medical Center, announced Nov. 16 that its fitness center on the WMC campus has been granted a three-year certification by the Medical Fitness Association.
There are approximately 1,500 wellness centers in the U.S., said Jeff Jeran, director of the Valley Health fitness center, but fewer than 30 have been granted the distinction.
“We’re ahead of the game a little,” he said.
The certification and the fitness center itself, which opened in 2008, is part of a continuing shift in the health care industry — partly driven by the 2010 Affordable Care Act — that focuses on keeping people healthy rather than treating them when they get sick, Jeran said.
To gain certification, Valley Health had to meet benchmarks for staff training and credentials, ensure the ability to serve members with a variety of medical conditions and special needs, and develop a program of health assessments and health goal setting.
Valley Health also had to establish a medical advisory board, which is made up of health professionals throughout the community and provides input on what health issues it thinks patients should be focusing on at the fitness facility.
The center has medical and clinical programs to help people battle diabetes, cancer, prepare for surgery and rehab.
Although Valley Health sees the programs as part of a shift to a continuum of care model focused on keeping the population of its service area healthy, at least one area of the health care industry is lagging.
Insurance companies have yet to really embrace health and wellness as preventive care, Jeran said, but he is hoping that will change soon.
“We’ll be well-positioned if that comes down the pike,” he said.
— Contact Conor Gallagher at email@example.com