At this year's ACSM Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition, ACSM's President-elect, Dr. Liz Joy of Intermountain Healthcare, presented on the Exercise Is Medicine (EIM) program to exercise professionals, highlighting their role within the global health initiative. In her remarks, Dr. Joy shared the program's vision of making physical activity assessment and counseling a standard in health care through the integration and implementation of the EIM Solution. She emphasized the importance of exercise professionals to improve patient health outcomes, namely through the use of exercise referral from the health care provider. Dr. Joy has been a pioneer in her own health care system, taking the physical activity vital sign and making it a part of Intermountain's electronic health record to ensure that doctors in her department are routinely assessing physical activity as they would any other vital sign (heart rate, blood pressure, etc.).
Near the end of her presentation, Dr. Joy introduced the crowd to a real-life example of the EIM-model in action at Florida Hospital Celebration Health - Bill Kelley, an ACSM certified RCEP, Karen Wiercinski, RN, a clinical care coordinator and Frank Santino, a patient/client who worked with Bill. The three individuals shared their experiences integrating (and experiencing) physical activity prescription and referral a part of the patient care process. As an employee of the hospital fitness center, Bill Kelley has been a strong advocate for EIM and for the role of exercise in patient health, particularly in the patient population he works with: patients undergoing bariatric surgery and patients with breast cancer. Frank underwent bariatric surgery, and through his work with Bill, he was able to improve and maintain his health before and after his procedure. Frank's testimony is one for the ages and speaks loudly to the important role exercise professionals play in a person's health outcomes. Bill's efforts in bringing the vision of EIM to his health care system have yielded very positive results, and are only the beginning! The road to full integration of health care and health and fitness is likely a long one, but the steps and efforts are worth it and will result in better patient outcomes, and a better patient experience. That is something doctors, exercise professionals and patients alike can get behind!
Visit acsm2954 on YouTube to watch Dr. Joy's full keynote address.