PINEHURST – John Caliri observes the benefits of medical fitness every day. As director of the FirstHealth Centers for Health & Fitness, he knows how exercise, especially when combined with appropriate diet, can help people stay healthy or even improve their health.
Since 1998, Caliri has been an active member of the Medical Fitness Association (MFA), working his way through the organization’s leadership to his current role as chair-elect of the Board of Directors.
For his efforts, he has been recognized as an MFA Fellow, the organization’s highest level of membership. The designation, which demonstrates a history of professional and community involvement as well as MFA service, is a new one for the organization and Caliri is one of 25 in the inaugural Fellows class.
“This recognition has great meaning for me, not only because of my belief in the medical fitness philosophy, but also because of the great work that the Medical Fitness Association does in promoting medically based fitness,” Caliri says. “Like MFA, the FirstHealth Centers for Health & Fitness serve people who have made the decision to be responsible for their own health care – whether supporting a lifestyle that can help prevent illness and disease or seeking help when problems occur.”
According to current MFA Board Chair Michael Richmond, the designation of Fellow recognizes members who have demonstrated exceptional service to medical fitness.
“This recognition represents commitment not only to the MFA, but it also reflects the many hours of hard work (that Fellows) have invested in upholding and furthering the principles and standards to which we all subscribe,” he says.
As director of the FirstHealth Centers for Health & Fitness, Caliri is responsible for all aspects of programs in Moore (which has centers in both Pinehurst and Southern Pines), Hoke, Montgomery, Richmond and Robeson counties. The six centers have 11,000-plus members and employ a staff of about 200.
Since joining the Medical Fitness Association, Caliri has served on the Facility Certification, Standards and Guidelines, Fellows, Bylaws, MFA Institute and Strategic Planning committees. He also served terms as secretary and treasurer and as an at-large member of the group’s Board of Directors before becoming chair-elect in December 2012. He will assume the role of board chair in 2014.
The FirstHealth Centers for Health & Fitness are located in Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Troy, Rockingham, Pembroke and Raeford. For more information on the programs and services they offer, call (800) 213-3284.