Fuel The Fire Of Recovery – 1 Day Medical Fitness Business Development Symposium

We all know the pandemic wreaked havoc in the medical fitness business. Join Active Entities for their Medical Fitness Business Symposium, Fuel the Fire of Recovery” on Thursday, Sept 23 from 9:30a to 3p ET, at MFA member facility, Valley Health Wellness & Fitness Center in Winchester, VA.

The leadership team at Active Entities, the leadership team at the Medical Fitness Association and the leadership team at Valley Health and Wellness Center are committed to helping medical fitness centers not only survive in this unstable marketplace, but to THRIVE! This dynamic one day event is exactly as the theme says… WE WILL FUEL THE FIRE OF RECOVERY FOR YOUR CENTER.

The event includes dynamic presenters who will educate, motivate and lead your staff team to the success you seek NOW. Jeff Jeran, Valley Health Director and MFA Board Chair, and David Flench, CEO of MFA, will be among the speakers at this event.

In addition to the powerful speaker lineup the event includes a trade show, continental breakfast, a nice event specific t-shirt, great networking opportunities and the opportunity to visit a great and successful MFA certified medical fitness center that is hosting this event!

Event Registration Includes:

  • Continental Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dynamic Medical Fitness Presenters
  • Trade Show
  • Special Event T-Shirt
  • Great Networking Opportunities
  • Visit a Successful Host Club

MFA Names David Flench CEO & President!

Medical Fitness Association Names New President and CEO

June 22, 2021–Pinehurst, NC: The Medical Fitness Association is proud to announce that David Flench, MBA, FACHE, FMFA is the Association’s new President and CEO. The Medical Fitness Association (MFA) is a professional membership organization that was formed in 1991 to assist medically integrated health and fitness centers achieve their full potential.

Flench brings over 20 years of management experience in medical fitness facilities. He received his BS in Exercise Science from The Ohio State University and his MBA from Franklin University. He has served on the MFA Board of Directors and various MFA committees for the past 15 years. Flench is also a Fellow of MFA and the American College of Healthcare Executives.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, the Executive Board is thrilled to officially welcome David to the helm,” said Jennifer Lavoie, MFA Board member and Director of Employee Wellbeing at Piedmont Healthcare. “David holds a special place as being the first CEO who has lived his career by the programs, certifications, and resources of the Medical Fitness Association.  David understands where the Association comes from and where it needs to go. We recognize this is a critical time for our industry and Association and there is no one better to lead the way.”

As President and CEO, Flench will work closely with MFA’s membership, Industry Partners and Strategic Partners to grow and strengthen the organization. “I am honored to lead the Association that I have been part of for the past 20 years,” said Flench. “I have experienced the positive impact of the education, networking and certifications offered by MFA throughout my career. Now, I am energized to take the organization to the next level. The awareness of the benefits and importance of medical fitness has grown in the past year. We have seen many fitness facilities around the country looking to expand their wellness offerings by bringing medical fitness to their members. The Medical Fitness Association is at a pivotal time in its history to be a leading resource for the medical fitness industry.” Flench has been serving as the Interim President and CEO since the retirement of Bob Boone, the Association’s past President and CEO.

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About the Medical Fitness Association
The Medical Fitness Association (MFA) is a non-profit, 501(c)(6), professional membership organization whose mission is to foster opportunities for the development and operational success of medically integrated fitness centers. MFA advocates for the industry, provides industry standards, educational programs, benchmarks, outcome measurements, professional development, and networking opportunities for the medical fitness industry.

OLC Celebrates its 60th Anniversary!

By Stuart Ohlson and Hervey Lavoie, founders of OLC

On June 15, 1961, mere years after growing up and playing on a dirt road called Colorado Boulevard, Stuart Ohlson hung up his shingle and started Stuart Ohlson and Associates. Working from an office he designed just across the street from East High School, he and his staff were soon busy with a series of residential and commercial commissions.

“All of a sudden, you’re in business, whether you know it or not!,” says Stuart Ohlson, reminiscing about those early days.

Today, that firm has grown and has become what is now called OLC | Ohlson Lavoie Corporation. Celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year, OLC is an architecture, interiors and aquatics four-office firm based in Denver with offices in Orlando, Cairo, and Tokyo. OLC now specializes in recreation, health & wellness, hospitality and aquatic projects. Over the course of those 60 years, OLC has helped change the skyline of Denver, influenced how we exercise, and has changed the lives of its employees, business associates, clients and those who live, work and play in its buildings.

In 1974, Hervey Lavoie joined Stuart, eventually becoming a co-owner in the firm renamed Ohlson Lavoie Corporation. Hervey, a recent architectural school graduate was now in his element. “I saw my new parish church being built as a 15-year-old and thought I could do that and enjoy doing that,” recalls Hervey as to why he became an architect.

A Focus on Recreation 

Early on, Stuart and Hervey managed a small group of staff whose focus was on designing buildings to suit their client’s needs. Commissions came through developing existing relationships, such as those made at Stuart’s standing tennis matches at 3 p.m. on Thursdays. Amazingly, despite the oil crisis of the 70s and early 80s that hit Denver hard, this small firm was designing big, high-rise projects. These included Park Place and Country Club towers near Speer Blvd, several residential towers off of Cheesman Park, and a half-dozen high-rises for the Writer Family at the intersection of I-25 & Colorado Blvd, five of which are still standing. OLC was a small firm with big project credibility. One of those late tennis sessions led to OLC designing its first, standalone, multi-purpose health club, now known as the Colorado Athletic Club–Inverness.

Out of the success and the relationships established with that project, OLC dove right into the fitness and recreation industry. With Hervey leading the charge, the firm has since become a specialist and expert in the fitness and recreation field. He and others have authored articles on specialized design for organizations such as IHRSA, NIRSA, the Medical Fitness Association and parks and recreation departments. OLC staff attend and regularly speak as design specialists at industry conventions and seminars.

A big change came out of that industry focus—travel. Prior to 1984, OLC had never had a design assignment of any kind outside the state of Colorado. Fortuitously, during this time, work out of state helped OLC bridge the periodic economic slowdowns that plagued Denver through the 70s and 80s, (The AIA slogan for 1975 was “stay alive in seventy-five!”). It seemed that there was always a hot development zone in some part of the country…and where the economy was hot, clubs were being built: Dallas in the early 80s; Washington, DC in the mid-80s; Atlanta in the late 80s. In 1988 OLC began traveling to and working in Japan, which became a major source of work during some lean times in the U.S. OLC’s specialized design focus thus meant a steady source of business, but also travel and lots of it.

Adapting to New Technologies

Another big change in those 60 years has been the technology employed by architects. Although every architect was expected to know the basics of hand drafting up through the early 80s, techniques and methods for architects changed drastically and seemingly overnight.

“I remember getting our first handheld calculator in 1974. Our first in-house copy machine came soon after. Then came a fax machine, a multi-line phone, a voice message system, Kroy machine, and Letraset” says Hervey of some the early technology changes. “By the mid to late 80’s, however, it became clear that the fundamental systems our profession needed to use required a different mind-frame and we needed to keep pace. We embraced a succession of technology firsts and broke new ground with overlay drafting, Master Spec, Con-doc, and eventually embraced the inevitable–CAD.”

Soon after came the juggernaut change of faster chipsets, the internet, email, and cloud systems. Today we use graphic and BIM software such as Revit, Enscape, Bluebeam, Sketchup, AutoCAD, and others to communicate, design, document and present. Often a laptop is all the design tools we use; the drafting tables, straight-edges, and rolls of prints of old just a nostalgic memory.

Notable Projects

From its locally focused projects and small staff in the 80s, OLC eventually grew its services and reach by adding offices in Orlando, Tokyo, and Cairo to service local clients. Recognizing that the unique and specific needs of our clients required specialized services we also added an aquatic design department and an interior design department along the way.

In the last few years OLC has designed a variety of health & wellness, hospitality, recreation, and aquatic facilities. Notable projects include:

  • Estes Valley Community Center, Estes Park, Colorado
  • Multiple Buildings for the Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri
  • Additions and renovations at the Newtown Athletic Club in Newtown, Pennsylvania
  • A new Tennis & Pickleball Center Clubhouse for Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
  • The new Lake Nona Performance Club in Orlando, Florida
  • Lobby and room renovations at Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Denver
  • A wellness center for Hancock Regional Medical Center in Greenfield, Indiana
  • A Deepak Chopra wellness project
  • Several hospitality projects for a prominent theme park developer in Florida

To this day our firm is centered around our client’s needs and particularly focused on projects that keep our communities healthy—from full-service wellness centers to your neighborhood swimming pool. Our principals and staff have been privileged to work on many interesting and life-changing projects over these 60 years. For that we thank our clients, our consultants, industry experts, the contractors who built our designs and the many folks we have gotten to know along the way.

Reflecting on our past we can certainly say, as the ad goes, “We’ve learned a thing or two.”  But it also sharpens our focus on what matters in a world of continual change: relationships, stewardship, good design, and being open-minded.

Stuart Ohlson and Hervey Lavoie, FMFA are the original founders of the 60-year-old architecture firm, Ohlson Lavoie Corporation, or OLC, as it’s known today.

Click here to learn more about OLC. Note: Hervey Lavoie serves on the MFA Board of Directors.

Medical Fitness Association Welcomes Evolt as an Industry Partner

The Medical Fitness Association is pleased to welcome Evolt as an Industry Partner.

Evolt is a digital body composition analytic company. Using BIA technology, it’s the only product on the market that offers personalised calorie & macronutrient recommendations based on an individual’s true lean body-mass. This innovative technology provides a digital health tracking platform for the user as an intuitive data analytics platform.

Evolt is at the forefront of technology in the body composition space, providing the latest cloud-based Body Composition technology, to help individuals achieve their physical health and well-being goals.

This powerful high tech ecosystem gives you the insights to make data driven decisions to help your business achieve higher retention rates, increased referrals, customer engagement & additional revenue streams.
Better health is about making lifestyle adjustments and changes to daily habits.

Click here to read more on how you can ensure your customers are informed, educated and accountable about their health.

Meet Ann Kehn

Say hi to Ann Kehn, the Aquatics Supervisor and Safety Team Member at Health & Fitness Center at Washtenaw Community College. Check out how Ann is helping her community to live life better through working in the water!

We caught up with Ann recently and here’s what she had to say!

Vapor Fresh teams up with the Medical Fitness Association as an Industry Partner

Vapor Fresh and the Medical Fitness Association team up to bring citric acid disinfecting gym wipes to the medical fitness community

ARLINGTON, VA., May 10, 2021 – Vapor Fresh, a leading manufacturer of stronger, safer, greener cleaning products specifically designed for the sports & fitness industry, has teamed up with the Medical Fitness Association as an Industry Partner to help bring citric acid disinfecting chemistry to medical fitness facilities across the United States.

“By providing medical fitness facilities an alternative to harsh quat-based disinfectants, we can help them provide a safer environment for their patients and members,” said Stephen Steinberg, Founder of Vapor Fresh. “We’re so excited to partner with the Medical Fitness Association, whose prominence and reputation in the industry will help drive the next stages of growth for Vapor Fresh.”

Due to the increased intensity and frequency of cleaning procedures from the COVID-19 pandemic, overexposure to quaternary ammonium compounds – or “quats” – has become a concern among experts. Due to the well documented reports of quat-induced asthma attacks and lung irritation from exposure to quats, this is a particular concern within the gym and fitness community.

Vapor Fresh® Disinfecting Gym Wipes use citric acid to disinfect instead of quats. Citric acid is an approved active ingredient on the EPA’s Safer Chemical Ingredients List and these wipes carry the lowest EPA toxicity rating where they are not even required to have a warning label. Even with this citric acid chemistry, Vapor Fresh® Disinfecting Gym Wipes are still EPA registered to disinfect 99.9% of germs and are on the EPA List N Disinfectant for Coronavirus.

“The Medical Fitness Association is proud to partner with Vapor Fresh through our Industry Partner program,” said David Flench, FACHE, FMFA, Interim CEO, Medical Fitness Association. “Our program allows us to share industry products with our medical fitness membership. In this time when disinfecting has become so heightened at fitness facilities, it’s important to have vendors like Vapor Fresh that are offering an effective product without the harsh chemicals.”

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Vapor Fresh has been manufacturing stronger, safer, greener cleaning products for the sports & fitness industry since 2008. Along with their disinfecting gym wipes, they also manufacture botanically-based cleaning sprays for sports pads and fitness equipment, laundry detergents for active households that wash a lot of athleisure and sports jerseys, and 100% natural foot & shoe powders.

Contact:
Vapor Fresh Media Relations Dept.
hello@rawathletics.com
888-619-0729

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Click here to learn more about Vapor Fresh.

Meet Ryan Glatt

Say hi to Ryan Glatt, Brain Health Coach & Fitness Instructor at the Pacific Brain Health Center in Santa Monica, CA. Check out how Ryan is using “exergaming” to enhance cognition! Don’t miss his April 7th MFA webinar, Your Brain on Exercise!

We caught up with Ryan recently and here’s what he had to say!

Reh-Fit Offers FitTalks – A Virtual Seminar Series for Health Month

MFA certified facility member, Reh-Fit Centre, based in Manitoba, Canada is offering a month-long virtual seminar series for their members…and you!

According to their website, FitTalks is a virtual series bringing together experts from the fields of health and fitness to educate, inspire, and support your overall well-being. Reh-Fit is offering several smart heart health-related opportunities and educational workshops. All sessions are available virtually and are open to the public. Missed a session? No worries! If you scroll down on their FitTalks web page, you’ll see links to past sessions.

Click here to visit Reh-Fit’s FitTalks page to read about their sessions and register.

Can Your Gym Become an Essential Business?

Written by Catherine S. Mitseas for Gym Insight

This fall, Planet Fitness made news when four locations in California owned by the same franchisee reopened under the designation of an “essential” business. Their tactic? Pay for a membership in the Medical Fitness Association and follow its phased reopening guidelines, while directly contacting local health officials for permission to open.

The gyms petitioned their Public Health Services department citing adherence to reopening guidelines published by MFA and vetted through the CDC. The MFA guidelines, in some cases, are stricter than the CDC’s published work: expanding social distancing recommendations based on a population’s health risk and the type of exercise.

The effort worked for Planet Fitness and, since then, more than 500 gyms have sought membership in the North Carolina-based nonprofit, according to their membership experience director Jason Aslanian.

The former PGA professional expressed awe at the surge of interest but wants to clarify a specific point: Membership in the MFA does not guarantee your business will be deemed essential by your local government.

Fortunately or unfortunately, that decision is made by local and state officials, and each state varies widely on which businesses are considered “essential.”

The 29-year-old organization, instead, provides a wealth of ongoing educational programs, conferences and seminars to individuals in the fitness industry, is the leading certification agency for organizations wishing to become accredited within the medical fitness arena, and provides access to industry research and trends.

Membership in the MFA delivers education and resources to health club owners but does not convey certification. Certification by the MFA as a medical fitness facility is a costly multi-year process that formally recognizes your center’s actions incorporating exercise-based therapies into client recovery programs. The accreditation comprehensively reviews your gym’s adherence to expected standards for medical fitness centers, including active physician oversight and degreed staff. However, even a full MFA certification does not automatically categorize your gym as “essential.”

There are over 940 medically integrated facilities nationwide, according to MFA’s research, but only 45 MFA-certified facilities in the United States. For more information on building relationships within the healthcare community, see our August blog, “Healthcare & Health Clubs.”

What’s Next on the Road to Becoming Essential?
Lobby and prepare, from the information out there. Every state is at a different point in opening, and the continued uncertainty swirling around increases in COVID-19 cases makes decisions difficult to pin down. However, a good offense is the best defense. By implementing the MFA’s guidelines and keeping up with the CDC your gym will be ready when your state flips the switch. If there seems to be wiggle room in your community, go to the local public health services department and keep asking questions until you find the person with the best answer.

Arm yourself with relevant state and local rules that apply to each of your business’s physical locations. Review them and determine if your business falls within any exceptions to the industry shutdown. If there is any question as to whether you are an essential business, prove to the county you’re a community resource with a dedicated group of clients who need and rely on you for their physical well being. Or ask an attorney to do the talking for you.

Keep your chin up and your hands clean, and soon your company will be stronger, better informed, and ready to run burpees around the competition.