Bridging the gap between healthcare and fitness industries
Have you ever had this experience? A personal training client walks in, burdened with conditions that you know could be eased, or even eliminated, with the right health and fitness plan. Yet, instead, they unravel a long list of medications they’re on – for pain, inflammation, you name it.
If you’re anything like me, this probably stirs up a bit of frustration inside you. And the root of this irritation? It’s likely no mystery to you…
Even in 2023, the gap between the healthcare and fitness industry still exists.
Don’t you agree that this gap, particularly among physicians and fitness professionals, makes it challenging for them to collaborate effectively, limiting the ability to optimally guide patients through exercise and physical activity recommendations?
The good news is the trend of doctors recommending exercise to their patients has increased; nonetheless, this study reveals that fewer than half of the physicians acquainted with Health Clubs would recommend their patient to one, and merely a fifth would make a referral to a Personal Trainer they know.
It is evident that Physicians aren’t utilizing these collaborations to its full potential, nor utilizing their influence to encourage physical activity among their patients.
But there is hope!
This article summarizes our insightful conversation with David Velsor, the Medical Fitness Director at the University Medical Center (UMC) Health System in Lubbock, Texas. The discussion took place on the Sweat Success Podcast, hosted by Michael Benso, Co-founder of Buzops.
We’ll explore Velsor’s valuable insights into the medical fitness industry and get a glimpse of how UMC is leading the way in bridging the gap between Healthcare and Fitness Industries as it prepares to open its new facility.
The world of fitness is evolving, and the good news is that at the forefront of this evolution is the integration of medical fitness with traditional fitness approaches. Our podcast guest is helping lead this change with UMC Connect.
UMC Connect is designed as a modern, state-of-the-art fitness center, primarily focusing on providing specialized medical fitness programs to recovering patients while also catering to the general population.
UMC Connect is preparing to open its doors in December of 2023 inside UMC’s brand new Health and Wellness Hospital in South Lubbock.
Unifying Medical and Traditional Fitness
Velsor’s journey into medical fitness was born out of a passion for helping people with chronic conditions, to improve their lives through exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle management.
His knowledge of clinical exercise physiology and his experience with management of large-scale fitness facilities have positioned him perfectly to help bridge the gap between medical fitness and traditional fitness.
The fitness world has long been divided into academic, clinical, and traditional gym routes. However, Velsor emphasizes the evolution of the medical fitness space, which now runs parallel with regular public sector fitness centers.
To acclimatize the market for this unified approach to fitness, Velsor and UMCConnect are actively running marketing campaigns and pre-sales events to attract members to their facility and share their brand identity. He relies on email and texts to do this as they have a higher conversion rate
How is UMC Addressing the Diversity of Fitness Needs in Their Facility?
One of the challenges in the medical fitness industry, Velsor discusses, is catering to different groups within the facility, from previous cardiac rehab patients to athletes.
UMC is actively working to create a facility specifically designed to diminish the stigma associated with strength training for recovery patients. The goal is to promote strength training as a fundamental aspect of overall health improvement.
By incorporating user-friendly, state-of-the-art equipment, UMC aims to foster an environment that encourages a diverse range of populations to engage in strength training exercise programs.
During the conversation, they discussed whether health insurance would cover the costs of a health club membership. Velsor noted that it’s not an option at the moment, but there are ongoing legislative discussions aimed at increasing the expenses that insurance can cover for physical fitness.
This development could make medical fitness center memberships more accessible to a broader population, supporting the concept that exercise is a universal form of medicine.
How is UMC Connect Utilizing Its Extensive Resources for Effective Outreach and Marketing?
UMC Connect is leveraging the resources of its extensive health system, including a professional marketing team, to reach out to physicians and the general public.
By already having access to these resources, they can target the right demographic. They also use social media platforms to reach a wider audience and move faster than more traditional healthcare marketing.
How Much Does a Membership at UMC Connect Cost?
UMC’s medical fitness model doesn’t eliminate the commercial aspect of the facility. They still offer personal training, small group training, and packages associated with them.
UMC Connect membership price point is $99 a month. This membership includes guest passes, and access to all their facilities in the heath clubs and group classes. Premium services like small group training and personal training come at an additional cost.
What is UMC’s Approach to Employee Education and Professional Development in Their Hiring Process?
Velsor discusses UMC’s emphasis on the importance of education and credentials in their hiring process. They strive to foster a growth-oriented environment within their company by promoting from within and encouraging employees to further their education.
Their Exercise Physiologists, Physical therapists and staff earn a competitive wage, work 40 hours a week, and receive full benefits, ensuring a consistent schedule and work-life balance.
How is UMC Innovating the Structure of Modern Fitness Facilities?
Velsor shares valuable insights and knowledge about the ever-changing structure of fitness facilities in the modern world, most importantly, how fitness is actually a medical product rather than a service industry product.
As more doctors and health practitioners begin to acknowledge this, Velsor is helping to found a facility that is the center where these two industries meet. With their experience in the medical sector, UMC will be the right place for Medical Fitness to thrive.
Velsor encourages those in the field to consider the potential revenue for their healthcare system from lifelong primary care visits and procedures that are associated with a new user of a health system and all their services.
The evolution of medical fitness is a fascinating journey that is transforming the fitness landscape. With passionate leaders like Dave Velsor and his incredible team at the helm, the future of fitness is promising.