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You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)

Ann bio photo-1

You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)

On a recent Saturday morning I woke up and turned over to grab my phone to see what time it was. All of a sudden WHOOMP, the whole world flipped upside down. “Uggggghhhh”, I moaned as I lay there motionless, trying to explain to my husband what I was wailing about. Vertigo.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t my first experience with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). I had my first bout with BPPV over 20 years ago, under the same circumstances (went to bed fine, woke up in the morning and turned over to discover the whole world flipped upside down.) At that time I had no idea what was going on. At least this time I did.

BP…What?

BPPV is the most common disorder of the inner ear’s vestibular system. 2.4% of people will experience it in their lifetime. Let’s first talk about the name of the disorder.

Benign indicates that it is not life threatening and generally doesn’t progress.

Paroxysmal indicates sudden onset of symptoms.

Positional refers to the fact that the symptoms usually occur with changes in head position.

Vertigo is a spinning sensation.

How does it happen?

Our vestibular organs in our inner ear consist of the utricle, saccule and 3 semicircular canals. The semicircular canals detect rotational movement of the head. When the head rotates the fluid exerts pressure against the cupula, the sensory receptor at the base of the canal. The receptor then sends impulses to the brain about the head’s movement.

BPPV occurs when the otoconia (tiny crystals of calcium carbonate that are a normal part of the inner ear’s anatomy) detach from the otolithic membrane in the utricle and collect in one of the semicircular canals. When the head is still, the otoconia settle. When the head moves, the otoconia shift. This stimulates the cupula to send false signals to the brain, producing vertigo and triggering nystagmus (involuntary eye movements). See more here.

 

 You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)

Image here

 What causes it?

The most common cause of BPPV in people under 50 years old is trauma. About five years ago, I wiped out skiing and hit my head hard (I was wearing a helmet, thank goodness). I sustained a concussion and took a nice trip down the mountain in the ski patrol sled. Following that incident, I developed BPPV and had treatment that resolved the issue. Any impact to the head can cause BPPV, and anyone who has suffered a concussion should be evaluated for it.

In folks over 50, the cause is generally unknown. It might possibly be caused by age related degeneration of the otolithic membrane.

Sometimes the cause of BPPV is a virus affecting the ear and causing vestibular neuritis. Less commonly, it can be related to Meniere’s disease.

Ugh! What does it feel like?

BPPV most commonly occurs when going from sitting to lying down, when turning over in bed, or when looking up. The sensation of vertigo (spinning) can last from a few seconds to a minute, and can make you feel nauseous. Typically, only one side is affected, and you will feel the vertigo when turning to one side or looking up in a certain direction (hence the “positional” in the name).

How is BPPV diagnosed?

Clinically, BPPV is diagnosed by looking for nystagmus (involuntary eye movements) and vertigo when the head is placed in certain positions. This is called the Dix-Hallpike maneuver. Sometimes lab work may be ordered to rule out other causes of BPPV.

How is it treated?

When BPPV strikes, you will want to get rid of it as soon as possible (it’s that miserable). Medications are not effective in treating BPPV, as they mask the symptoms and can sometimes cause more harm (I was prescribed Meclizine, a motion sickness medication, which I didn’t take).

The most common treatment is a Cannalith Repositioning Procedure (CRP), usually called the Epley Maneuver. This treatment can be performed by a physical therapist or an ENT who specializes in vestibular issues. You will be taken through a series of four movements that move the otoconia back into the utricle, where they no longer stimulate the cuppula.

You should always have this condition evaluated and treated by a physical therapist or ENT, but I will share the steps of the Epley Manuever here:

 You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)

 FOR LEFT EAR PERFORM AS SHOWN ABOVE:

(FOR RIGHT EAR REVERSE SEQUENCE WITH TURNING HEAD TO RIGHT TO BEGIN)

  1. SIT WITH LEGS OUT IN FRONT OF YOU, 1-2 PILLOWS BEHIND BACK
  2. TURN HEAD 45 DEGREES TO LEFT (OR SIDE OF AFFECTED EAR)
  3. LIE BACK QUICKLY KEEPING 45 DEGREES ROTATION WITH EXTENDING OVER PILLOWS: HOLD 30 SECONDS
  4. ROTATE HEAD TO RIGHT SIDE AT 45 DEGREE ANGLE: HOLD 30 SECONDS
  5. ROLL TO RIGHT SIDE KEEPING CHIN TO SHOULDER, REMEMBER DO NOT PICK UP HEAD, HOLD 30 SECONDS
  6. THEN SIT ON EDGE OF BED WITH HEAD DOWN FOR 30 SECONDS

REPEAT SEQUENCE IF STILL DIZZY UP TO 3 TIMES IN A ROW.

Wait 24 hours before you perform the full sequence again.

It can be uncomfortable to go through this maneuver because it first puts you in the position that brings on the vertigo, and then you often feel the vertigo again during the repositioning. The procedure is often effective the first time, although it may need to be repeated for complete relief from symptoms. Some patients are given vestibular exercises to do at home as a follow up.

Happily, I can report that my symptoms were almost 100% resolved after doing this maneuver 2 nights in a row. The unfortunate news is that BPPV recurs in 1/3 of patients after 1 year, and in 50% of patients within 5 years. At least I know what to do if it strikes again!

Have you ever experienced vertigo? What do you do for treatment?

 

 

 

Creating Your Cash Based Practice

Over the past few years I’ve received countless emails, Tweets and phone calls from therapists with questions about starting and running a cash based practice. I’ve had the privilege to work one on one with some excellent therapists who are now venturing out on their own with this practice model; but, I can only help so many people at a time that way.

I’m excited to launch my first Webinar designed to help you create the practice of your dreams. Thinking Outside the Box: Creating Your Cash Based Practice was designed to answer your questions. Whether you’re starting a new 100% cash based practice, transitioning from an insurance based to cash based practice, or looking to add cash based services to your existing practice, you’ll find what you need here.

Webinar with Price Tag 06 1024x5871 e1397331682760 Creating Your Cash Based Practice

 

To your success!
Ann

Interview with Pedro Borrego: A Revolutionary Clinic Model

Pedro

Interview with Pedro Borrego

Pedro Interview with Pedro Borrego: A Revolutionary Clinic Model

Last week on Twitter a conversation started about Walk In or Urgent Care Centers for physical therapy, and quickly progressed to this question:

 

 

 

Talk to about that – he’s doing it in Spain.

We had a great conversation of over 195 comments, which led me to believe it would be well worth interviewing Pedro to find out more about what he is doing. In 1993, Pedro started the first physical therapy clinic in his town in Spain, and has grown it into a business which serves as a revolutionary clinic model for those of us in the US. I have known Pedro through social media and email for about 2 years now, and I am blown away by what he has done. I hope you enjoy the interview!

 

 

Q: First, Pedro, tell us about the education process in Spain to become a physical therapist.

A: Spain has become one of those countries in which physiotherapy education has improved since I went to University: I got my degree in 1992, a three years education in a recently established program in University of Salamanca. At that time the University didn’t offer a Master or Doctorate, so I got a foreign upgrade in General San Martin University (Argentina) and finished my first Masters degree in Healthcare Management. Nowadays this permits to me to teach as professor in the main private Distance University (UDIMA). In 2006 I reached my doctorate degree and I am preparing today a new doctoral thesis to fix the degree about physiotherapy in pelvic floor infectious and not infectious chronic diseases based in biofeedback.

Before I got my PT degree, most of PTs in Spain were also nurses, as their education program was linked to that profession. Nowadays, the evolution from 3 to 4-years education degree leads on to an independent PT Grade and direct access to Doctorate and Master Degrees.

Q: How long have you been practicing?

A: At the very first time I was sure I didn’t want to be ordered or directed by an obsolete system. Although I prepared a public examination to succeed to what it was supposed to be my first job in the National Center for Disabled Patients (and I got it!) I decided not to agree to the offer and open in 1993 Fisiomed, the first Physical Therapy center in Salamanca owned by a PT. Its 22 years now.

Q: What got you interested in physical therapy as a profession?

A: Well, it wasn’t what PT offered as a profession but as an aim to discover new perspectives in Healthcare areas, particularly in PT.

Q: Tell us about your clinic. Where is it located? How long have you been in business? Do you own the space or rent?

A: Fisiomed was open in 1993 initially as a renting place with 60 square meters in Salamanca Downtown (Spain): an office, waiting room, bathroom, two separate treatment rooms and a small gym. No one could foresee a new and bigger clinic 3 years later and just half a mile away. Today, a 500 square meters centre offers Physiotherapy, Orthopedic Surgery, Ophthalmology, Podiatry, Aesthetic Surgery, Speech Therapy, Psychology, and 3D-4D ECO imaging for pregnant women. www.clinica-fisiomed.com

Q: Explain the model of the clinic. What other healthcare providers work with you? Are you all part of the same business? How do you all work together? Are the other HCPs contractors?

A: The clinic is sustained in two main business models adapted to Spanish laws: self-employed and LLC (limited liability company). Health Ministry only allows HCPs to practice as a self-employed in the field related to your university degree, but LLC raises the views to work with other HCPs. And that’s what I did: LLC was founded by just one associate as CEO… and the same one a self-employed in PT.

The offers came quite soon: A surgeon leading the aesthetics procedures in Madrid but born in Salamanca, was impressed by the new Center, and then we signed the first contract.

All administrative staff and Physical Therapists are hired directly by the LLC, and they work as employers.

The others HCPs can choose between three open models: they are self-employers which lend a service to the LLC by renting a limited space by a fixed but flexible schedule by week (monthly payment), a percentage in benefits, or both systems. We make a market survey before we close the agreement and we value the proper model based in the specialty and interests of both LLC and HCP. We never duplicate two same HCPs unless they come as a team (like Orthopedic Surgeons do) but hiring the PTs allows me not to have to apply that rule in that unit.

But all HCPs in the clinic, including hired ones, are free on their professional decisions and duties under a manager’s baton to make things work properly, helped by administrative staff and a complex computer program which controls agendas, payments, percentages, patients, clinical history, providers, stocks, and logistics. The success doesn’t come from that, but from a personal and humane treatment and careful relations with patients and providers.

Q: What is the payment model in Spain? Do people use health insurance? Private or government funded? How do you get paid for treatment?

A: Private clinics work directly with patients. Most of them, like FISIOMED does, attend patients which use their private health insurances. Some of them, like members of the National Police or the Army, use their government funded insurance companies according to yearly accords with public statements like Ministries or regional/local public boards. The insurances pay monthly according to fixed rates accepted by providers.

We do also receive patients from traffic crashes who don’t have to pay anything at all as we are in an agreement with National Insurance Union managed by a web-based app that register the accident, the injuries suffered by driver and occupants, authorizations for clinical procedures (Ortho, PT, Xray) and assure the applicable payments coming from the insurance of the involved vehicles.

Q: In what way are each of the HCPs paid? Percentage? Salary? Per patient?

A: It depends on the model we fixed: renting pays a monthly amount, percentages goes from 20 to 35 % of rates, and mixed model reduces the rent and percentages to minimum with variable sums in each months depending on HPC activity. PTs and office staff receive a fixed salary.

Q: How do you market your clinic and services?

A: The beginning was costly higher than now, but marketing and publicizing is a must to be on the crest of the wave. It has obviously been a radical change in this, as 20 years ago there were no Twitter or Facebook, but our main power is our own patients.

Q: Do physical therapists need a physician referral to see a patient in Spain?

A: No. We do receive patients in a direct access system. This changes if we talk about insurances or Public Health. Reimbursements are compulsory justified by physician referral; insurances allow referral from any medical specialty; Public Health requires a referral from rehab-physicians except from Primary Care which referrals to physiotherapy come from PC Physicians integrated in the called PC Team.

Q: What has been the biggest surprise about this whole venture?

A: ¿Positive or negative? icon wink Interview with Pedro Borrego: A Revolutionary Clinic Model Let’s mention the first choice: the daily satisfaction to lead a team whose work turns into results in a better life for our patients.

Q: Where do you see the business heading in the next 5 years? Any big plans?

A: My head is continuously working and we are right know involved in both projects about computer assisted exercise program and iris laser aesthetic treatment to be included in our services. We just want to keep our MVV set and offering our best to patients and team members.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you can give someone who wants to start this model of business?

A: Be yourself, set your goals, never underestimate your rivals, and have a head for everything you decide to do.

 

Thanks so much to Pedro for taking the time to answer my questions. What do you think about this clinic model? What questions do you have for Pedro? Please leave comments and questions below.

 

Interview with Sue Falsone, PT, ATC, SCS, COMT, CSCS

ATLANTA BRAVES VS LOS ANGELES DODGERS

Sue 214x300 Interview with Sue Falsone, PT, ATC, SCS, COMT, CSCS

I couldn’t be more thrilled than I am right now to share my interview with Sue Falsone. As many of you know, Sue broke barriers by becoming the first female Head Athletic Trainer in Major American Professional Sports at the start of the 2012 season, as Head Athletic Trainer of the LA Dodgers. What is a lesser known fact is that she was also the first female team Physical Therapist in MLB history, having been hired as the Dodgers team PT in 2007. Sue recently left her position with the Dodgers to begin S&F (Structure and Function), a consulting and education business for healthcare clinicians, as well as a consulting company for the athlete. Thanks to Sue for taking the time to talk with me!

Q: Tell us about your growing up years; where did you live? What sports did you play?

A: I grew up in Buffalo, NY. My main sport growing up was synchronized swimming.  I loved the water and was at the public pool the day it opened in summer until the day it closed in fall.  I spent my entire elementary life in the water, therefore, did not develop a single bit of eye hand coordination or really, any type of coordination at all for that matter.  I went to Kenmore West High School and was a terrible athlete!  I ran track my freshman year, and was really slow.  I tried field events, and broke my nose during high jump when I let my knees drop on my face.  I played jv and varsity soccer, and got Most Improved Player, if that gives you any idea of where I started.

Q: What initially got you interested in physical therapy as a career?

A: I had always loved the sciences and anatomy.  I knew I wanted to do some type of healthcare.  I thought I would become an orthopedic surgeon.  I had injured my hamstring in soccer and had to go to physical therapy.  I thought it was very cool! At the time, physical therapy was a 4 year degree, so instead of going into biology as a typical pre-med student would, I went to PT school.  I ended up loving it, and never even thought about med school once I got rolling in the program.

Q: Tell us about your education: Where did you go to school? Did you major in Athletic Training as an undergrad and then pursue your Physical Therapy degree?

A: In my typical fashion, I did things totally backward!  I went to PT school at Daemen College.  Like I said, PT school was a 4 year BS degree, so did that and began working in a general orthopedic clinic.  I thought I had made a terrible mistake.  I hated it! I had to pass off any of my “fun” patients to the athletic trainer, and I was seeing chronic neck and low back pain from either work accidents or car accidents.  It was not what I wanted to do at all.

I spoke to our athletic trainer and she told me of a double major program at UNC-Chapel Hill where you could enter in as a PT in the Human Movement Science program and concentrate in sports medicine.  I looked into the program and applied, figuring I would never get in.  They took one person a year for that double major program and I had never even seen the inside of a training room. Well… I got in.  My sports medicine career began.  On top of the double major, Carolina had already changed to a curriculum AT program, so I had to take about 4 undergrad classes at the same time in order to be eligible to sit for the AT exam.

Q: What positions did you have in your early career that lead to you becoming the first female athletic trainer in Major League Sports?

A: I don’t know if it was necessarily the positions I held, but more the people I was surrounded with.  My very first boss at the outpatient clinic was an amazing clinician.  He made me think, he mentored me as a new grad.  He made me look at the body as a whole from day one.  That set my foundation for sure.

Q: Who were your mentors along the way?

A: No doubt my mom.  She always was there for me, even when I was doing things she didn’t necessarily want me to do (like move across the country).

My Aunt Marie. She was a strong Italian Catholic woman that converted to Judaism in the 1940’s.  She also opened her own boutiques at the time, and owned her own business.  She bucked the norm at every turn.

My grandma. A 5 foot Italian spitfire who spoke her mind.

There are more, but those are my first mentors.

Q: What was the work environment like as the only woman in the dugout? Did you run into any issues with players/owners/coaches respecting your professional opinion?

A: I never had trouble with that.  I was confident in what I knew, and wasn’t afraid to admit what I didn’t know.  I have always been like that in my work.  I think athletes/ patients appreciate that honesty and therefore respect what you have to say, when you say it.

Q: What was the best part of your job as an AT in MLB? And what was your least favorite part of the job?

A: Best part was returning an injured athlete to the field.  That’s why we all do what we do, right?  I love that first time an athlete gets out there to play after an injury.  It is a great feeling.  Least favorite….hmmmm..  Getting up early for day games! I am such a night person, and typically baseball is a noon to midnight schedule.  Those random day games can really throw you off your sleep schedule!

Q: It appears that many PT’s in pro sports are also ATC’s, and they are identified/viewed as AT’s. Do you think there is a unique role for PT in pro sports? And do you think that role is currently being fulfilled? If not, what are some things that a PT can do if they want to break into pro sports?

A: I think there is a growing need for the PT in pro sport.  AT’s and PT’s can have overlapping skills, and depending on the settings they have worked in, can be extremely similar.  But there are also many differences.  PT’s can really focus in the rehabilitating athlete.  Bottom line, there are 25 guys to get ready to put on the field that night (in baseball).  The injured guys need attention to get back as quickly and as efficiently as possible.  There is a lot that needs to get done, and there is room for both professions to bring their expertise to the table to help the team as a whole.

Q: ATC’s have a unique brand and are easily recognized. How can PT’s do a better job of educating the public about what we do? How can PT’s brand ourselves so that we are the public’s first choice for musculoskeletal issues?

A: THAT is a fantastic question!!!!  And one I don’t necessarily have the answer to. I was at a meeting last week with WebPT and #rehabnation.  That is EXACLTY what we are going to tackle.  If you look at my twitter and professional Facebook page, I asked the question “what is a physical therapist or what does a physical therapist do?”  The variety of answers I got was astounding!  PT’s don’t even have a standard definition of what we do so how can we educate the public?  Yes, the APTA has its definition, but there are so many specialties and subspecialties in PT.  How do we define sports medicine and outpatient orthopedics PT?  Stay tuned…an amazing group of people are working on exactly that.

 

Q: How do you balance your identity of being both a PT and an ATC?

A: I don’t.  I am both.  Simply put. I am what I am.  I am a Caucasian, Italian decent, 5’6” Christian female who enjoys yoga and wine, and whose professions include PT, AT and strength coach.  No balance needed.  It’s who I am.

Q: So you left the Dodgers last October, and I know you did some traveling. Tell us about where you went, what you learned, and how those experiences led you to the decision to start your own business.

A: Please see my blog on www.suefalsone.com “What AM I doing?”  I answer that exact question.

Q: How has your experience w MLB prepared you for what you are doing in the private sector now?

A: Working during the in-season of pro sport gives you a whole new respect for what athletes and staff deal with during the season.  It allows you to fully understand the lifestyle, the difficulties associated with such, the extreme fatigue levels, etc.  It helps you understand the needs of the athlete from a totally different angle.  You have to live it to truly understand it.  I now understand it.  I feel like my off season programming, rehab and in season support will be very different based on my recent experiences.

Q: Do you expect frustration w the difference b/w MLB and the “real world”? Will you be accepting insurance for your treatments with athletes? Or will you be 100% cash based?

A: HA! Yes!  The real world actually functions during the day! I am on such a noon to midnight work schedule (not that you don’t work in the morning, but usually its phone calls or doctor appointments).  I am used to being up until 2 am and sleeping until 9 am.  The “real world” has different hours, which I am adjusting to.

I am going to be 100% cash based.  I will deal with teams directly for reimbursement, but I will not take insurance or workman’s comp.

Q: Tell us about your business experience. Have you owned/operated a private practice before? How did your experience w MLB prepare you to better run a business?

A: I have never actually owned a business before so this should be interesting!  I have obviously held positions (at Athletes’ Performance) where I had to “run” the business.  Be responsible to profit and loss, budgets, etc.  But owning your own gig is a totally different thing.  I am learning a lot on the fly, reading tax books for small businesses and learning about website design and SEO’s.  Things I NEVER thought I would be learning about.  This is a new adventure for sure.

Q: How do you plan to leverage technology in your new business?

A: I’m not sure yet.  There are so many things out there, especially on the iPad/ iPhone.  Simple aps are really useful for video capturing, etc.  Plus, many of my clients will be all over the country, so being able to interact with them for consistent care will be important.  It is an area that is on my list to explore more.

Q: If you could rewind, what advice would you give to yourself as a student? What advice would you give to a DPT student who is interested in working with athletes and possibly pursuing a position in pro sports?

A: Just work hard.  Be a student of the sport.  Be an active learner.  Be prepared to donate your time and energy for no or little money.  There are other rewards in life other than monetary.  Enjoy the journey and the process of learning.  It is amazing to look back on.  Don’t push to hard in any direction.  The universe has a way of providing you the opportunities you need, but you have to look out for them.

Q: What are your top 3 favorite books (fiction or non-fiction)?

A: Anything written by Patrick Lencioni.  He is an amazing writer about the struggles of business, management, people, etc.  IT is an easy read with valuable lessons, whether you are in management or want to be in management.  Start with “3 Signs of a Miserable Job”.  Awesome.

The Help.  I couldn’t put it down! I absolutely loved it.  It is amazing to me that the book was in a time not that long ago.  That is not “ancient history”.  It is recent history, and in some situations, not history at all.  It’s just a fantastic book about spirit and strength.  I loved it.

The Hunger Game Series.  I am seriously obsessed.  Loved it!

 

Q: What blog or news media do you read every single day?

A: Nothing in particular.  I read what catches my eye.  I cruise my professional Facebook page to see what people are posting and will always click on the interesting blog topic or news topic.  I always check Yahoo news for a quick “light look” at the trending news, and then CNN for hard hitting stories.

What questions do you have for Sue? Ask away in the comments section!

 

S&F is a consulting and education business for healthcare clinicians, as well as a consulting company for the athlete.  – See more at: http://www.suefalsone.com/about/#sthash.QRWluRGy.dpuf
S&F is a consulting and education business for healthcare clinicians, as well as a consulting company for the athlete.  – See more at: http://www.suefalsone.com/about/#sthash.QRWluRGy.dpuf

Building Community Through Movement

Brian

 Brian 300x276 Building Community Through Movement

I have been fortunate enough to get to know Brian Finch, MSPT, CSCS (@AlpineAthlete) over the past year or two through social media. Brian is the Physical Therapy Clinical Manager for Rutland Regional Medical Center in Rutland, Vermont. He is an avid runner and skier with a passion for building community. I asked Brian to talk about how he has been instrumental in building community through Wellness activities in his town.

Brain shared the following:

I’m incredibly fortunate to live in a New England community that values cultural and educational richness. Our residents are so concerned about this, it’s not uncommon to hear the terms duty or role associated with community events. It’s quite understood that during the summer, the right thing to do is to buy your fruits and vegetables from the farmers’ market. It is also not uncommon for individuals to say things like, “It’s my responsibility to go spend $30.00 or $40.00 at the annual Art in the Park event.” Our community understands how participation is vital if we expect to have a robust cultural and educational environment. Many of my fellow friends and peers are actively mentoring our local high school students much in the same way that we take high school students & DPT students on a regular basis in my workplace.

A few years ago, several therapists began to think about community fitness and wellness in much the same light. We decided that it was really our responsibility to start attending events and talking up opportunities to our friends and families. Our local Parks and Recreation Department had a small series of trail runs and road races that would occasionally draw a couple dozen people. If you are not from New England, you may not know that running is the unifying force of nature in this part of the world. I was unaware when I moved to this part of the country, yet was quickly inducted into their cultural rituals. Nearly everyone runs or has a running partner or has a favorite lap or route in the area.

As a way to support community wellness, we began attending these races with good regularity and bringing our friends and family. It didn’t really matter where you finished, it just mattered that you showed up and had a good time. The bulk of these activities were held after work around 6 o’clock during the spring and summer, making it easy for folks to attend.

As a physical therapist, one of my greatest responsibilities to the profession is to help advance the groupthink around how we move as a society and how we take an active role in our own health and well-being. When the Parks and Recreation Department started noticing our regularity at their events, they quickly asked us if we had any interest in helping support or run them as well. We were excited because a typical evening event now drew 40 to 50 people.

We decided that it was our community responsibility to step up sponsor, facilitate, advertise and run some of these activities in the community that were getting people connected to jogging or walking. The events were appropriate for all fitness levels, as they were done in a looped fashion. An individual could show up and walk as little as one lap and socialize with the field.

This became the “Go Play” series of 12 races that included a mountain bike subgrouping, a cross country series, a mountain run trail series, triathalon, & a couple road races. We purchased an easy up tent and readily set up a table with refreshments and information. Individuals enjoyed this so much that they started bringing more people even when it was pouring rain! Throughout the crowd, we would hear chatter that “it’s our responsibility to show up and be healthy tonight.”

As we thought about fitness for all members of the community, we realized that we were not seeing the levels of younger adults and students that we were expecting. We decided that the right thing to do was to use our sponsorship of the series to not only promote to, but also to cover the entry of any junior athlete that was interested in participating. Additionally, we offered to cover the entry of any of our 1400 employees that work at our regional medical center.

Shortly thereafter, we had the Humane Society joining us and individuals were encouraged to bring their animals out to the activities. We had a number of vendors who decided they wanted to come and build a festival like activity alongside our tent. And most excitingly, we had developed a tailgating community after the event were people socialized and chatted about the events of the day and reflected on how we could engage the community further. By this point we are routinely seeing triple digit figures for participation and word-of-mouth was spreading.

Since then, several exciting items have come from this venture. The same teens that we enticed to come out and race set up their own Turkey Trot for Thanksgiving which raises over $2,000.00 for the Community Cupboard Food Bank. Locals are proudly driving around with “Go Play” series stickers on their cars. There is planned 55k ultra marathon for this fall. Unique to this event will be use of a small loop format, teams, multiple aide stations & a festival arena to promote the event. The event is more about socialization with a lesser focus on results. We’re plotting the 2014 version today and have already had businesses and vendors request be “looped in”. Most exciting is a commitment to develop a new “Get up & Go” series. The idea behind this is to have the same energy focused toward getting community members and former patients to come walk a quarter mile nature loop. What this has taught us is that community is everyone’s responsibility and shaping it can be the path to connecting folks to healthier life choices.

What are some ways your clinic has promoted Wellness through community activities?

 

 

 

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