ACAC Fitness & Wellness Center Leads U.S. Health Clubs in Trend Towards Medical Fitness Facility Certification
More than half of all adults in the U.S. suffer from one or more chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, pulmonary conditions, cancers and mental health disorders. To fight the adverse effects of these conditions, many adults join a gym to begin an exercise program. Health clubs that are certified medical fitness facilities, like ACAC Fitness & Wellness Center in Virginia, provide a level of care for these individuals that traditional gyms cannot.
“The MFA seal of approval indicates that the facility meets the highest quality standards and offers services from credentialed staff, such as physicians, dietitians, physical therapists, nurses and exercise physiologists,” says Amanda Harris, ACAC’s vice-president of fitness and wellness. “It really raises the bar for health clubs. This certification assures consumers that a club can provide the professional support and services they need, regardless of their current health status.”
Harris stresses how comprehensive the certification was and emphasizes that all club employees were part of the process. During the testing phase, examiners randomly interviewed on-duty ACAC staff members about club policies for safety and crisis response. In addition to the club’s health and fitness professionals, housekeeping, administrative and part-time personnel were also put to the test. According to Harris, ACAC passed with flying colors.
“Our members’ health and safety has always been a top priority,” says Harris. “For example, we require all ACAC team members in every department, whether they work four hours per week or forty, to be CPR and AED certified. That kind of preparation separates traditional gyms from medical fitness facilities.” She notes ACAC’s excellent track record for emergency response, which includes the successful resuscitation of three individuals during the past eight years.
For Harris, one of the most exciting aspects of the certification is the recognition of MFA-approved health clubs as qualified partners in providing active and regular medical oversight for members who desire these services. “ACAC has partnered with area hospitals and physicians for several years now,” says Harris. “This certification acknowledges the strict standards we use when tracking health outcomes like blood pressure and body composition.”
Above all, the certification distinguishes fitness and wellness centers where medical professionals and their patients can feel comfortable and confident that members receive the attention and guidance they need to successfully manage or prevent disease.