Partnership Links MFA and Nebraska Methodist College Wellness Program


A unique partnership with the Medical Fitness Association will enable Nebraska Methodist College students who complete the Medical Fitness Management concentration of the Wellness & Health Promotion Management master’s degree program to sit for the Association’s Certified Fitness Facility Director (CFFD) exam.

“This is a tremendous benefit the Association is making available to the students in our program,” says Wellness & Health Promotion Management (WHPM) Program Director Jeannie Hannan, PhD. “No other graduate program in the nation addresses the knowledge and skills necessary to become eligible for this certification exam.”

Headquartered in Pinehurst, N.C., the Medical Fitness Association is a non-profit, professional membership organization whose mission is to foster opportunities for the development and operational success of medically integrated fitness centers. The Association provides industry standards, educational programs, facility and individual certification programs, benchmarks, outcome measurements, professional development, and networking opportunities for the medical fitness industry.

Medical fitness is an individualized health risk management model designed to maximize a person’s health and quality of life, says Medical Fitness Association President and CEO Robert D. Boone, MBA, MHA, FACHE, FMFA. “We call it population health, one person at a time,” Boone says. “Medical fitness creates personal accountability and programs tailored to individual needs.”

Boone says the Association has collaborated with Hannan to create a curriculum concentration within the WHPM program that combines insight into a preventative care business with an understanding of the role fitness centers play in the continuum of care. “Nebraska Methodist College is the only university I know of addressing this specific market niche,” he says. “We applaud them for that.”

Normally, to be eligible to sit for the CFFD exam, candidates must have a minimum of three years of experience in a management/leadership position, with a bachelor’s degree or higher in a fitness- or business-related field, or five years of experience in a management/leadership position with a minimum of an associate’s degree. However, Boone says the experience requirement will be waived for those who complete the Nebraska Methodist College WHPM Medical Fitness Management concentration.

The proctored CFFD exam for WHPM students will be given at Nebraska Methodist College, beginning with the fall 2019 semester, Hannan says. Boone says that upon successful completion of the CFFD exam, a person becomes eligible for the Association’s Certified Medical Fitness Facility Director (CMFFD) exam. The Medical Fitness Facility Director certification builds on the base knowledge tested in the CFFD exam, and covers nine specific content areas relevant to the operation of medically integrated fitness facilities.

“Students who take this concentration at Nebraska Methodist College are already interested in the medical fitness model,” Boone says. “When they complete their studies, they will have core knowledge that normally takes three to seven years to obtain. Obtaining their certification will make them more desirable candidates for administrative positions at medical fitness facilities.”

Boone says the partnership with Nebraska Methodist College will serve to highlight the Association’s work, and heighten its profile in the academic world.

“We think it will also provide a new generation of regional and national leaders for our Association,” he says. “Our hope is that Nebraska Methodist College students will become involved in our student chapters, which will broaden networking opportunities for them and for our Association.”

Established in 1891, Nebraska Methodist College is an affiliate of Methodist Health System and is fully accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The WHPM master’s program has been a part of the college’s curriculum for 20 years. It was the first graduate program at the college, and the first to be offered completely online.

For more information contact NMC at 402-354-7200 or