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FirstHealth’s Caliri on Hand for National EIM Announcement

| Date Posted: 3/8/2016

PINEHURST – Exercise is Medicine (EIM) is a health  initiative managed by the American College of Sports Medicine, American Council  on Exercise and Medical Fitness Association, which last month announced a new  approach toward addressing the rapid progression of chronic diseases and  skyrocketing health care costs in the U.S.     

Ellmers.jpgRenee Ellmers      

FirstHealth Fitness  Director John Caliri met with Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC), of North  Carolina’s Second District (pictured), and the staff of U.S. Sen. Richard Burr  (R-NC) during a recent trip to Washington, D.C. Caliri was in the nation’s  capital for a major announcement concerning the Exercise is Medicine program.

John Caliri, director of FirstHealth Fitness, was present  for the announcement at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The program  also included a keynote address by former Surgeon General Regina Benjamin,  M.D., a longtime supporter of the positive role that an active lifestyle plays  in good health.

The goal of the new EIM initiative is to bring together  health care systems, providers, fitness professionals and community resources  in an effort to reduce health care costs and affect positive health outcomes.  The multi-pronged approach will include physical activity counseling and  prescription and referral strategies, especially those linking health care and  community-based resources.

“Fifty years of data has shown that exercise works for 80  percent of the illnesses that plague Americans,” Caliri says. “We know it  works. It’s now a matter of getting people to buy into that concept with what  we anticipate will be the resulting positive effect on the health care system  and the community. If the health care system is going to be changing with  population health management, this has to be a part of it. You have to be  proactive; you can’t just be reactive.”

FirstHealth Fitness has offered an EIM program for more than  five years. After a physician referral, participants meet with  an exercise specialist to develop goals and get an “Exercise Prescription”  along with a two-week complimentary membership in the FirstHealth Fitness  center of their choice. The results of their participation in the program are  then shared with their referring physician who incorporates the information into  the individual patient’s health care plan.

Since its implementation, the FirstHealth Fitness  program has received 4,685 patient referrals from 358 health care providers  representing 19 medical different specialties.

For more information  on FirstHealth’s Exercise is Medicine program, visit


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