Greater Midland is now accepting participants for its new wellness advocate program. The physician referral based wellness program seeks to improve the health of individuals who struggle most by connecting the medical community more closely to the wellness and fitness community.
“Most of us have had a doctor tell us to get more exercise and we nod our heads, leave the appointment and likely continue doing what we’ve been doing, which often isn’t very much,” explained Julie Dunsmore, a wellness coordinator with Greater Midland. “This new program removes the barriers to getting active. By working closely with health care providers to prescribe exercise for patients who will then be promptly contacted by our wellness team we can build in support and accountability right from the start.”
Providers from the MidMichigan Physicians Group family medicine practice located at MidMichigan Medical Offices-Campus Ridge 1, as well as providers from Midland Family Physicians, PC, will discuss the program with their eligible patients. In addition, interested participants can download the referral form (available at greatermidland.org/wellness-advocate) and have their health care provider complete the referral.
The participant will be contacted by a wellness coordinator to schedule an assessment. The program is designed for individuals who do not currently participate in at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week, who are at risk for chronic diseases, who are currently dealing with chronic conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, etc.) or anyone who needs assistance beginning and incorporating an exercise plan into their lifestyle.
During the initial assessment, the wellness coordinator will help the patient uncover the types of activities that are most likely to keep them motivated and help them achieve success. Based on these results, the coordinator will connect the participant either to a personal wellness advocate or to a personal trainer.
Both the trainer and advocate will provide regular check-ins via onsite meetings and phone calls for the first 12 weeks, then continue with follow up at greater intervals for up to a year.
“The other unique aspect of this program is that it broadens the concept of exercise from something that happens at a fitness center to incorporate a multitude of interests and activities that keep people active,” Julie said. “That means some individuals may be most successful by joining a recreational sports league, by participating in a walking club, gardening, or other activity.”
There is no charge to participate in the program. The only costs participants may incur are those related to options such as a fitness center membership, fitness classes or personal training.