Vivo Health Fitness at ProHealth, which is a health club at 3 Delaware Drive in the Lake Success Quadrangle, opened recently. This center is the result of efforts from the North Shore-LIJ Health System and ProHealth Care Associates LLP.
This center is 15,000 square feet and part of the health system's push into the wellness business, according to a press release. Vivo Health has aerobics and spin classes, exercise equipment, a wellness spa and programs for stress management, nutrition and yoga, the release said.
With health reform's focus on improving public health and disease prevention, North Shore-LIJ is entering the community wellness arena with initial offerings targeted to its workforce of 42,000 plus and their families. With 15 hospitals and other facilities on Long Island, Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island, the health system plans on opening additional fitness centers throughout the region, so employees and their families can take advantage of this benefit at convenient locations throughout the region.
More than 16,000 North Shore-LIJ employees work within two and a half miles of Vivo Health Fitness, so the facility's convenient location is expected to be a draw for many.
Employees and their families can join the fitness center for a discounted monthly membership fee of $40 (non-employees pay $65 a month).
In addition to offering discounted fitness memberships, North Shore-LIJ is introducing several other employee-focused wellness initiatives in 2011. During North Shore-LIJ's recent benefits enrollment period, employees had the opportunity to accept three "wellness pledges" to lower the cost of their health insurance premiums. Employees could pledge not to smoke (or quit if they currently smoke), have an annual physical exam and complete a health risk assessment online. For each pledge made, employees will receive a $10 credit – a total savings of $30 per paycheck or $780 annually.
In addition, North Shore-LIJ is helping employees and their families combat childhood obesity as part of a new partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation– a joint venture between the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation. Beginning in January, North Shore-LIJ employees concerned about their child's health can bring them to the Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York for consults with pediatricians specializing in weight management, followed by up to four visits with a community based nutritionist. All costs – including co-pays – will be covered by the health system and North Shore-LIJ's health insurance plans, helping parents to address a child's weight problem and prevent more serious potential health problems later in life.
"We view all of these initiatives – Vivo Health Fitness, the wellness pledges and Alliance for a Healthier Generation – as important first steps in our commitment to wellness and changing the way we deliver healthcare," said North Shore-LIJ President and CEO Michael Dowling. "We will be implementing additional health and wellness activities and programs for employees and the community-at-large in the coming months and years."
Among the unique features of Vivo Health Fitness at ProHealth is a computerized system called "FitLinxx" that enables members to track their progress. Health club members are entitled to two complimentary sessions with a personal trainer, who develops an exercise plan based on a health assessment performed on each individual and his/her fitness goals – to lose weight, gain muscle, etc. The workout plan is entered into FitLinxx, which is networked wirelessly to touch-screen monitors attached directly to exercise equipment. Every time they use a machine, members can type in a personal passcode that links them to the fitness regimen developed with their trainer, including information like how much resistance should be on the machine and the number of repetitions they perform. FitLinxx coaches users through their workout for better form and safety, and tracks their progress.