Personal Fitness Professional - Spring 2017 - 13
Journey to Success
By Lindsay Vastola
Leading a movement.
Leaving a legacy.
he was the kid with a lemonade stand; a
self-starter with an entrepreneurial spirit.
The only characteristic perhaps stronger
was her conviction that she was meant
to do something great for the world. Lisa
Dougherty, founder of the Medical Fitness Network
(MFN) and owner of Whole Body Fitness, is committed to a mission to improve lives, especially those with
health challenges or suffering from chronic disease.
I've had several opportunities over the last two years
to work with Lisa and there is one undeniable thought
I come away with after each encounter: Lisa Dougherty
may be the most fiercely committed individual I've ever
met. Her dedication to MFN, to her clients and to the
industry is as solid and unwavering as they come.
Lisa was inspired to become a fitness professional
by her father, who battled cancer three times. She
graduated from the University of California, Irvine's
Fitness Instructor program in 1999 and has continued to seek education and specialty certifications to
properly assist people with health challenges and chronic disease.
Since she started her business, Whole Body Fitness, clients began to seek her out following a surgery or injury, a medical diagnosis or exacerbation of a pre-existing condition. Many of them
were cancer survivors or clients with MS, rheumatoid arthritis,
fibromyalgia, stoke, CVD, morbid obesity, mental health disorders or developmental disabilities (schizophrenia and autism) and
many prenatal and postpartum new moms.
Lisa knew it was important to understand the pathology and
progression of various diseases in order to design safe and effective fitness programs for those wanting to make the transition
from medical management and/or physical therapy to a regular
physical activity program. As she built her medical fitness business, people began contacting her from around the country looking for fitness professionals with her background and knowledge.
Lisa realized there was a dire need to connect clients, fitness professionals and patient organizations to meet this demand.
So was born the Medical Fitness Network; a membership organization like no other that offers valuable networking benefits
plus in-depth educational opportunities for professionals to engage and better serve the nation's aging population. The MFN
is a free educational and online resource directory for people to
locate fitness and allied healthcare professionals who have education in and provide services for those with chronic disease/medical conditions, including Alzheimer's, arthritis, cancer, diabetes,
fibromyalgia, heart disease, mental health challenges, Multiple
Sclerosis, Parkinson's, osteoporosis, respiratory disease, stroke
and women's health issues including pre- and postpartum care.
Her journey to success over the last near 20 years certainly
hasn't come without challenges, both personally and professionally, but her resiliency and endless dedication to her mission is
indisputable. Among her many accolades, Lisa was a PFP 2017
Trainer of the Year finalist, and we had the opportunity to learn
about what drives Lisa, what inspires her, and what the future
holds for her, MFN and for the industry. Here is a glimpse...
SPRING 2017 | WWW.FIT-PRO.COM | 13