Personal Fitness Professional - Spring 2017 - 14
What was your motivation behind creating the Medical Fitness Network?
First, "medical fitness" offers a huge
opportunity for fitness professionals
and the industry to be part of the healthcare
team. There are 100 million baby boomers,
totaling almost 30% of our population controlling three-fourths of America's wealth. They
are also expected to live longer than previous
generations as a result of improved medical
management of chronic diseases. This is the
largest population segment in our economy
and they are seeking professional help for their
aging bodies. However, what this means is that
people are living longer with potentially costly
and debilitating diseases.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 80% of older adults have one
chronic medical condition, and 50% have two
or more. Regular physical activity is one globally accepted strategy to promote and preserve health. These members/clients, once
thought of as the exception, are now becoming the norm. They have heard that not
all exercise is created equal and they will be
looking for gyms, programs and professionals who understand who they are and how
they can be helped to restore function and
preserve their quality of life.
Second, the fitness industry needs to have
access to more and current education in
these areas in order to better serve our aging
population; and third, nonprofit medical and
health organizations are trying to educate
people on prevention, diet, wellness, stress
management and encouraging people to ex-
| WWW.FIT-PRO.COM | SPRING 2017
ercise, yet they provide little or no resources
for people to find help to carry this out.
After discovering these concerns, I cut
back my own paid training hours to donate
thousands of hours to create and grow a national registry of fitness and allied healthcare
professionals to serve the community, the
Medical Fitness Network.
Are there any challenges you would
say have been significant in your
journey to success?
Developing the Medical Fitness
Network has been a tremendous
undertaking. Creating a huge platform like
this from the ground up to serve our nation
and to educate and enlist the fitness industry
to be part of the healthcare team has been
One of the other challenges I've had to
overcome as the CEO of the MFN is being comfortable talking about myself. I've
learned that to help this project grow and
become the nation's fitness and allied healthcare provider resource, I would have to step
outside my comfort zone into the limelight.
So that's what I'm doing. I am proud of my
personal accomplishments as a fitness professional but even more so of the accolades
that come to the MFN.
What exciting projects is the MFN
currently working on?
MFN donates its services as a national database management company currently to 20 nonprofit medical, health
organizations that do not offer resources for
locating fitness and allied healthcare professionals interested in working with their populations. My goal is to donate our services to
100 organizations, medical centers and corporate wellness programs by 2018.
I'm also excited to share that I have also recently been the catalyst in the development
of new "medical fitness courses" by introducing the American Breast Cancer Foundation
and the Alzheimer's Research & Prevention
Foundation to Fitness Learning Systems (FLS).
They are one of MFN's education partners. I
chose FLS to be the educational platform of
these new courses because they are IACET
accredited. In addition to providing CEC's to
the fitness industry these courses will be able
to be offered at colleges across the nation. I
will be working with the National Osteoporosis Foundation in creating a course for the
fitness industry in 2017. One on "Parkinson's
and Exercise" is planned as well.
I believe education is important. The MFN
has partnered with 50 education companies
that provide members with savings on certifications and CEC's. I have also created an
industry-acclaimed free educational webinar
series where members gain access to latest in
research and trends in the industry.
When Lisa started in the fitness industry, she
probably didn't know she would be celebrated for her accomplishments by the likes
of the Huffington Post or be selected as a
finalist for the White House Champions of
Change. She probably didn't know she would
be the founder of a nonprofit like the Medical Fitness Foundation that will make an even
greater impact alongside her businesses.
And while she probably has always been confident that she would make a difference in the
world, I doubt she ever thought she would be
leading a cause that has, and continues to,
directly impact the lives of thousands.
On the surface, it may look as if Lisa has
created an extensive network; offered a valuable website of resources and education; and
opened the door for fitness professionals to
expand their career. The reality is that Lisa
Dougherty has created a movement. A movement that connects the millions of people
seeking a greater quality of life with the caring,
qualified professionals eagerly waiting to help
them. Lisa's vision and commitment energizes and elevates the industry and as a result,
will undoubtedly leave a legacy of changing
countless lives. Quite the journey to success
that all started from a lemonade stand...