The MercyOne Health & Fitness Center (“Center”) is located on the 24-acre Clive, Iowa campus, adjacent to the MercyOne Cancer Center, MercyOne Sleep Center and several multispecialty medical office buildings. The two-story, 65,000 square-foot facility includes a Weight Loss and Nutrition Center, a 15,000-square-foot strength training area, an indoor track, multiple pools, several group exercise studios, full-service locker rooms, alternative therapy rooms, and childminding services. Established in 2009 as the Healthy Living Center, the Facility was originally co-owned and managed by the YMCA of Greater Des Moines. After dissolving their partnership with the YMCA in 2017, MercyOne expanded the Center’s focus from community fitness to clinically integrated programs. This shift facilitated complementary health care services delivery, and proactively represented MercyOne’s brand to thousands in the community. Clinical integration provides members access to health and fitness programs connected to medical experts, medical services, health and wellness promotion and disease prevention.
Established in 2009 as the Healthy Living Center, the facility was originally co-owned and managed by the YMCA of Greater Des Moines. After dissolving their partnership with the YMCA in 2017, MercyOne expanded the Center’s focus from community fitness to clinically- integrated programs. This shift facilitated complementary health care services delivery, and proactively represented MercyOne’s brand to thousands in the community. Clinical integration provides members access to health and fitness programs connected to medical experts, medical services, health and wellness promotion and disease prevention. MercyOne selected Power Wellness Management, LLC (Power Wellness) to facilitate clinical integration and manage the Center based on Power Wellness’s proven experience and commitment to Medical Fitness Association (MFA) certification. The MFA is a non-profit organization that supports the clinically integrated health and fitness center industry. The MFA’s facility certification process ensures operations safely and effectively support members as they embark on individualized quality of life improving journeys. Power Wellness manages 30% of the MFA’s certified medical fitness centers nationwide, with each Center scoring an average of 99.2% on MFA qualifications. By delivering focused, high-quality programming to special populations, this certification makes it possible to mitigate, prevent or reverse disease conditions, thus contributing to improved program participant health. MFA certified centers also require fitness staff to possess a higher level of education and credentials than a typical commercial fitness facility.
One of Power Wellness’s initial recommendations was changing the name from The Healthy Living Center to MercyOne Health & Fitness Center. Going forward, its mission will be to provide the latest innovations in wellness and medically-based prescriptive fitness programs to its members, employees and the community at large. By leveraging health education and state-of-the-art technology, the Center will help community members achieve personal wellness goals while selectively communicating progress with their physicians. This integration will set the Center apart from traditional fitness centers and attract community members not currently engaged with MercyOne. MercyOne completed over $500,000 in renovations including new treadmills, new SPIN® bikes, new flooring and added office space. Power Wellness employed degreed and certified staff and provided relevant training. These changes and updates supported new operational goals and provided enhanced, clinically-integrated leadership.
The Center joined the MFA in 2017 and began the journey toward certification. The Center’s goal is to complete the certification process by 2021. Soon after joining the MFA, the Center established a Medical Advisory Committee (MAC), consisting of physicians who oversee programming and safety protocols. With the MAC established, Power Wellness implemented its Next Steps Fitness Programs,™ ten individualized exercise pathways designed specifically for people with diagnosed medical conditions or needing additional support to improve their quality of life. The Next Steps Fitness Programs™ pathways are outlined below:
The chart below shows Next Steps Fitness Programs™ enrollment by year; 2019 is on track to surpass 2018 numbers:
By the end of year two, Next Steps Fitness Programs™ participation at the Center rose to more than 430, nearly five times its initial base. Emily Bialas, Center Director, noted: "The success of the first two years of Next Steps Fitness Programs™ has been a huge milestone for us. We ranked second in program participation in 2018. Our Medical Advisory Committee believed in the programs and physicians were sent to our facility to try the programs for themselves. Our plan is to continue to increase awareness through physician referrals and educational presentations to community members, first responders, specialty groups and more."
Prior to transitioning to Power Wellness, the Center had approximately 2,800 billable members; it now serves more than 4,200 members. This substantial increase is the result of physical, programmatic, clinical integration and quality improvements: "Along with the renovations, we’ve seen a change in our demographic and provider support since partnering with Power Wellness. Our educational programs, MFA membership and degreed and certified fitness specialists have allowed us to increase our participation and connection with MercyOne services. We are now a stronger brand that continues to build trust with our members and the community as we go out to present our success stories." - Emily Bialas, Center Director