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

Job market to remain tight in coming years: report

Conference Board of Canada predicts region’s unemployment rate to remain below five per cent

Chilliwack driver busted with heroin after nodding off behind the wheel

29-year-old man from Vancouver facing possible charges

Vancouver TheatreSports finishes off Harrison’s Season of Performing Arts

Vancovuer TheatreSports will be performing in Harrison on May 4

Get your rock and roll on with the Hope Mountain Centre

Centre is hosting its annual Peers Creek Boulder Toss

Judge questions joint submission for Chilliwack man who sexually assaulted girl

Crown, defence ordered to find case law to back up one-year sentencing for Andrew Mullaly

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Woman, 60, charged in connection to thefts at YVR

RCMP believe the foreign national is part of a larger organized theft group

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Worst 10 bus routes in Metro Vancouver for rider complaints

TransLink releases list, with Route 319 at the top

Mayors, First Nations chiefs, urge ‘immediate action’ on new Massey crossing

Joint letter asks province to move up timeline, consider only eight-lane tunnel options

Bus driver assault in Vancouver once again raises safety concerns

A 49-year-old Surrey man was released on a promise to appear in court. No charge has been laid

Most Read