Free gym deal aims to get patients fit for surgery

Fraser Health partners up with Steve Nash clubs for pilot project

Fraser Health patients waiting for surgery are being offered free workouts through a partnership with a chain of fitness gyms.

Patients referred by their surgeon now get five weeks free access to Steve Nash Fitness World and two one-hour sessions with a private trainer.

The idea is patients who get fit before they go under the knife tend to get out of hospital faster with fewer complications and ultimately cost the health care system less money.

“They tend to mobilize faster, recover faster after surgery and have lower incidence of complications like pneumonia, clots in their leg or other wound complications,” said Dr. Peter Blair, the health authority’s program medical director for surgery.

He said pre-op fitness is particularly important for abdominal surgery, joint replacements and major chest surgery.

But doctors’ advice is often ignored.

“For 30 years I’ve been asking people to lose weight before surgery without very much success,” he said.

Blair hopes the gym access inspires patients to do better.

There’s no cost to Fraser Health – yet.

Blair said he approached the Steve Nash clubs, which volunteered to donate access for a six-month pilot project.

After that, the health authority will reassess whether to negotiate a permanent, possibly paid arrangement with the chain.

“If it turned out we were able to show a big net savings in terms of money saved by virtue of improved outcomes, it could be a good business case to go ahead and pay for the program,” Blair said.

Meanwhile, the company gets publicity and a chance to impress potential future customers.

Eight of the Steve Nash chain’s 17 Lower Mainland locations are in the Fraser Health region.

But patients in cities like Chilliwack face a lengthy commute to take advantage of the offer – the easternmost Nash location is in Langley.

Blair said Fraser Health could potentially partner with different gyms if the pilot project is a success.

Just Posted

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

Hope stylist holds hair-athon for a good cause

Shayla Ross donating all proceeds of $10 cuts to the food bank

Hope arena turns green for hockey tourney

A second attempt at green ice, with proper ice paint, after food colouring experiment last year

Project Hope celebrates first birthday

Also: lego-mania comes to town, lineup of all-female comedians entertains Friday

New Hope clothing store loses $6,700 after early morning break-in

Broke Buckle Clothing Company owners hold “dirty deeds” sale after loss

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

VIDEO: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

B.C. man to plead guilty in connection with hit-and-run that killed teen

Jason Gourlay charged with failure to stop at the scene of accident, attempting to obstruct justice

BCHL Today: Wenatchee Wild goaltenders a cause for concern

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Most Read