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Rx for Future Success By Lilly Prince In 2014, Matthew Wright, a personal trainer and senior fitness director at Healthtrax Fitness & Wellness, in North Haven, Connecticut, took on a very challenging client. John, a middle-aged man, had undergone a double discectomy—i.e., the removal of herniated disc material that’s pressing on a nerve or the spinal cord—that left him unable to sit for long periods and reduced his range of motion. The latter was especially distressing—John was an avid golfer. “It was a huge orthopedic limitation,” explains Wright. But, over the course of two years, Wright helped his client progress from gentle mat exercises to 30-pound bench presses and core rotations. He managed this minor miracle on the basis of the thoughtful, medically sound fitness regimens that Healthtrax is known for, and by working closely with John’s physical therapist. “The transformation was incredible,” says Wright. “He had this really challenging limitation, but, despite that, he was still able to exercise, lose weight, golf, and, otherwise, pursue an active lifestyle.” Today, John’s activities also include regular dinners with Wright, who’s become a good friend. This single case exemplifies an ongoing evolutionary process in the industry, one that’s marked by growing sophistication with respect to the fitness sciences, increased collaboration with physicians and other healthcare providers, and improved understanding of how to successfully balance the “mission” (member results) vs. “margin” (club profitability) equation. It’s an eclectic transition, one requiring the participation of a host of parties, including colleges and universities, education and certifying organizations, trainers, club operators, healthcare professionals, health and fitness industry associations, and others. And Healthtrax not only has success stories to share about the rewarding outcomes possible, but, it seems, is also a serviceable exemplar. The company was recently awarded the Management Excellence Award by the Medical Fitness Association (MFA), which recognizes outstanding achievements within the medical fitness industry. Medical fitness made real Based in Glastonbury, Connecticut, Healthtrax operates a total of 18 facilities in that state and in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, North Carolina, and Maryland. Ten of them are situated in “wellness medical office buildings”—large medical office complexes with a medically oriented fitness center as an anchor tenant. The other eight are former tennis or racquetball clubs that have been renovated and repositioned to offer some medical fitness services. All are informed by Healthtrax’s sense of what it takes, today, to operate a medically sound and financially viable health club. The components include a well-educated and appropriately credentialed and/or certified staff, numerous affiliations with healthcare organizations, 60 Club Business International | FEBRUARY 2016 | ihrsa.org Explore, Connect, Succeed! Visit cbx.ihrsa.org