October is “National Physical Therapy Month” so I thought what better time than now to reflect on our profession and how we can continue to evolve in providing even better, more efficient care in our current ever-changing healthcare environment.
When I first got the idea to start my own business, I wanted to create a clinic that married outpatient physical therapy with a private gym, offering personal training and group exercise classes. Little did I know at the time that this concept was ahead of the evolutionary curve in the practice of physical therapy. In the fall of 2005, I came across the term “medically-oriented gym” (now known as MOGs) from an article written by physical therapist, Russell Cerlo. After reading it I thought, “Hey, in a nutshell, that’s what Vita is.” I just didn’t know what to label us as a business. Cerlo’s article was right on the point then and even more so today. I’m going to touch on some of his points, but if you get a chance, read the full article. It’s a great read.
Cerlo pointed out that, “The U.S. Surgeon General’s office at the Department of Health and Human Services launched a third generation public health agenda in January 2000. Healthy People 2010 define priorities for the nation’s public health. The agenda identifies 10 leading health indicators that Healthy People 2010 track. The first two priorities are physical activity and overweight/obesity.” Well, it’s 2011, and I think we all know that this is still a growing problem and probably worse than originally thought in 2000. Have you noticed all of the expansion and new facilities being built for hospitals, health clubs, and gyms over the years? Why hasn’t it helped? Certainly the corporate, bottom-line driven, hospital systems, insurances, and food industries have done little to curb, and in many cases have contributed to, the poor health in America. Yet, whom do you turn to? I may be biased here, but who better than a private physical therapy practice with an MOG? Cerlo explains that “if the ultimate goal of reversing the obesity trend is to be achieved, physical therapists must find ways to collaborate with physicians and insurance companies. PTs have spent an entire generation developing and nurturing these relationships. Who is better positioned to deliver a service that is credible? Who is more qualified to assist in the design of outcome measures from an exercise perspective? Who is more qualified to design and monitor exercise for medically compromised (i.e., diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis) populations?”
Vita offers the same resources and services that Cerlo talks about in his MOG. The state-of-the-art gym environment that we have is one of the “Vita Advantages” that allow Vita Physical Therapy & Fitness to be the Milwaukee-area leader in providing the most effective and efficient physical therapy and fitness services. Just like the MOG mentioned in the article, Vita provides the medically-compromised patient with an appropriate fitness program—a place where physicians can refer with confidence. The post PT/post-rehab patients can have specialized fitness programs to transition into at the same facility with their physical therapist for consulting and communication via our Independent Exercise Program. By integrating these MOG services with our multi-disciplined fitness staff, you get a “one stop shop” for all fitness enthusiasts from the medically-compromised individual to the elite athlete.