Meet Jennifer Lavoie, MS, FMFA, CMFFD, ACSM/EP-C/CET
Jennifer Lavoie, MS, FMFA, CMFFD, ACSM/EP-C/CET is the Director of Employee Wellness, Worklife & Fitness at Piedmont Health in Atlanta, GA and has been with them for 21 years. She has an MS in Exercise Physiology from the West Virginia University-School of Medicine..
Jennifer has been very active with MFA serving on the Marketing, Fellowship, Ethics, and Bylaws Committees, the Foundation Board and she is the incoming MFA Board Chair. She is an MFA Fellow (FMFA) and an MFA Certified Medical Fitness Facility Director (CMFFD).
Jennifer is the 2018 recipient of the Hank Boerner Pioneer Award. This Award is presented to an individual who has significantly advanced the medical fitness industry. We thank Jennifer for her tireless commitment!
We sat down with Jennifer recently and here’s our conversation…
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Providing resources that enhance the wellbeing, work-life and health of Piedmont’s employees so they can take the best care of our patients and community.
What has been your favorite/most successful initiative at your fitness/wellness center?
There have been two. One is launching the PINK program now in its 12th year. PINK is a program dedicated to empowering women who are journeying through breast cancer to regain control over their health and their bodies. The second is putting mobile health and wellness into the hands of our employees through digital gaming and therapeutics where they are incentivized to practice healthy behaviors.
What led you to choose this field?
Initially, I wanted to be a journalist. Then I volunteered for Special Olympics when in high school. When I witnessed the equalizing effects of exercise and team play with these athletes and the joy in their faces, I knew I wanted to play a role insuring all abilities experience the benefits of exercise.
What one piece of advice would you give to those just coming into this field of medical fitness?
I am so proud of the field of medical fitness. I want all new industry professionals to embrace that they are changing lives for the better, witnessing miracles every day and participating in a field of primary and secondary prevention where people come to us and keep coming back not just because they have to (as in some medical cases) but also because they want to. A medical fitness professional plays a significant role in the sustainability of a lifetime of health and wellness.
Why did you become a member of the Medical Fitness Association?
I became a member of MFA because as an exercise physiologist transitioning into a management role, I needed support. The MFA gave me a network of professionals and mentors that were accessible and welcoming. It gave me the tools I needed to learn the business side of exercise physiology and most importantly it gave me a safe space to learn leadership skills by participating in committees, giving presentations and contributing on levels that were extremely formative.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Paddle boarding with my friends, golfing and traveling with my husband and cooking for everyone and anyone. I’m obsessed with all animals, including my fur babies—two cats, Cabo and Leo. And I love to read/listen to audiobooks.