Wellness Center designated as Arthritis Foundation Flagship Facility


The Arthritis Foundation
Aquatic Program is part of the
offerings at The Wellness Center.

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The Wellness Center has been accepted as an Arthritis Foundation Flagship Facility Partner, making it the only Tennessee facility east of Knoxville to have this designation and just the eighth such facility in the state.

“As a Flagship Facility, The Wellness Center serves as a community resource for people who suffer from the pain and disability of arthritis,” said Rebecca Burton McHenry, group fitness coordinator at The Wellness Center. “Participation in evidenced-based Arthritis Programs has proven to lessen pain and improve people’s ability to perform activities of daily living.”

Arthritis Flagship programs will be free to Wellness Center members. Non-members can participate by getting a daily guest pass for $10, granting full access to the facility.

To earn Flagship status, a facility must agree to serve as a community resource for people with arthritis by offering all four of the Arthritis Foundation’s “Programs for Better Living” on a regular basis. The Wellness Center already offers three different low-impact and joint safe exercises classes – for general exercise, aquatics and Tai Chi – and recently added the fourth one, an eight-week Walk with Ease program. The most recent Walk with Ease just finished, and it will be offered again in the spring.

“These are evidence-based programs that are tested and proven, so we know they will work for people with arthritis,” said Katie Christian, the Arthritis Foundation’s Program & Services Director for Tennessee.

Group classes are led by Arthritis Foundation certified instructors, each of whom has completed in-depth training on arthritis. All classes can be modified to meet individual needs. The Arthritis Foundation Programs for Better Living offer various fitness programs, including:

  • Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program – Low-impact physical activity program proven to reduce pain and decrease stiffness. The routines include gentle range-of-motion exercises that are suitable for every fitness level. Classes can be taken either standing or sitting, whichever is most comfortable.
  • Arthritis Foundation Aquatics Program – Warm water-based activity shown to reduce pain and improve overall health. The movements provide gentle resistance while supporting joints. Suitable for every fitness level, the program was co-developed with the YMCA to reduce pain, gain strength and flexibility. Classes are held in a friendly and supportive environment that encourages social interaction among participants.
  • Arthritis Foundation Tai Chi Program – Tai Chi is an ancient practice proven to reduce pain and improve mental and physical well-being. This program, developed by Dr. Paul Lam, uses gentle Sun-style Tai Chi routines that are safe, easy to learn and suitable for every fitness level.
  • Arthritis Foundation Walk with Ease Program – This fitness program provides techniques to build and maintain a successful walking program. In studies by the Thurston Arthritis Research Center and the Institute on Aging of the University of North Carolina, Walk with Ease was shown to reduce pain, increase balance and strength and improve overall health.

CrestPoint Health is the sponsor of the Arthritis Foundation program at The Wellness Center.

“Arthritis is such a prevalent condition among our population,” said Sharon Dicorato, CrestPoint Health vice president of sales and marketing. “We feel strongly that sponsoring the Wellness Center’s flagship arthritis program is a great way to get information out about arthritis to our CrestPoint Health members and to members of the community. Our goal is to help people learn how to live better with arthritis.”

The Wellness Center is part of Mountain States Health Alliance and is located at 200 MedTech Park, Suite 200, near Franklin Woods Community Hospital.

For more information, call McHenry at 431-4082 or The Wellness Center at 431-6688, or visit www.msha.com/wellness.


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