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

WATCH: Group of 150 gather for Fraser Valley Marches for Women in Chilliwack

Waving signs, women make their way down Young Road as part of second annual march in Chilliwack

Chilliwack prolific offender wanted yet again

B.C.-wide warrant issued for David Allen Geoghegan

One man, two women charged with stolen pickup downtown Chilliwack

None of the three have criminal history in B.C.

COLUMN: Should elected officials block constituents and reporters on social media?

Ottawa mayor was sued for doing that but a Chilliwack school trustee didn’t get that message

Chilliwack-Hope MP says new summer jobs grant application no longer includes ‘values test’

Those with anti-abortion beliefs left out last year because of requirement to respect the Charter

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read