Ep 96 – A Hospital Affiliate: Kirby Medical Center and CrossFit KMC

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“I really think there is an opportunity for the CrossFit affiliates to work with the hospitals, and to say, ‘We have a big piece of this puzzle that we can help with.  We have the programming, we have the coaches, we have the culture.’ And, my hope is that those gyms can partner with the doctors and they can partner with some of the other larger employers and also with the hospitals that can handle the biometric testing, and just put together that same plan that we’ve already done.  And I think it’s not gonna be just one solution and it’s not gonna be just one player that’s gonna make the difference, but I think collectively we all can make a big difference.” – Steve Tenhouse, Kirby Medical Center CEO & owner of CrossFit KMC

As part of an innovative partnership, Kirby Medical Center and CrossFit KMC are working as a team to promote wellness for their employees, their patients, and their local Monticello, Illinois community.  Together they are setting an example for how health care can focus on disease prevention rather than just disease treatment.

Kirby Medical Center is a 16-bed acute care hospital and physician group that consistently scores in the top 5% of rural hospitals nationwide for patient satisfaction and employee engagement.  They offer a wide variety of wellness services, including food and nutrition services, a wellness trail, and a range of exercise classes through CrossFit KMC.

CrossFit KMC is one of the first CrossFit affiliates to open on a medical center campus.  Open to both employees and the community, they play an instrumental role in helping Kirby Medical Center achieve its vision of making their community a healthier place to live.

At the 2018 CrossFit Health Conference, I had the opportunity to sit down with Steve Tenhouse, Kirby Medical Center CEO and affiliate owner of CrossFit KMC, and Josh Newton, the Director of Health and Wellness at Kirby Medical Center and Head Coach of CrossFit KMC.  I was excited to learn more about how their partnership began, the lessons they have learned along the way as they’ve built a successful employee wellness program, and how other affiliate owners can partner with local healthcare organizations to promote the shift from sick care to health care.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How Steve & Josh got into CrossFit
  • Background information about KMC and the community they serve
  • How changing KMC’s vision statement to include a focus on preventative healthcare changed the hospital campus and outlook
  • The process of opening an affiliate on a hospital campus
  • The impact of the affiliate on employees and the hospital system as a whole
  • The trickle-down effect of doctors sharing their passion for exercise with their patients
  • The framework for KMC’s employee wellness program, and how it has changed over time
  • The nutritional message KMC dieticians are sharing with participants
  • How the affiliate works financially within the healthcare system
  • Their vision for turning their hospital into a place where people can go to become healthier
  • The data and outcomes they are tracking
  • Interest from other health care systems
  • Steve’s personal experience with using CrossFit to help recover from heart surgery, and the importance of prehab
  • What Steve & Josh think it will take to make the change from sick-care to healthcare
  • Their advice for affiliate owners in approaching partnerships with healthcare organizations
  • Three things Steve & Josh do on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on their health
  • One thing they struggle to implement that could have a big impact on their health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Steve and Josh

You can follow Kirby Medical Center on Facebook and Twitter.  CrossFit KMC can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Related episodes:

Ep 07 – Dr. Mark Hyman on Functional Medicine, the future, and community

Ep 16 – Pete Katz and his physician on using CrossFit and Paleo to overcome chronic disease

Ep 22 – Brigid Titgemeier on Functional Nutrition

Ep 66 – Cleveland Clinic CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove on Lifestyle, Healthcare, and Persistence

Ep 69 – From “Obese to Beast” with John Glaude

Ep 80 – Greg Glassman on Networking CrossFit Physicians and Fighting Chronic Disease

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by Thrive Market. By cutting out the middle man, Thrive Market delivers your favorite healthy food and lifestyle products to your doorstep at 25-50% lower cost than you would spend in the grocery store. Visit http://www.thrivemarket.com/ph to receive an exclusive offer from Thrive Market for being a listener of Pursuing Health: 25% off your first order + a free 30 day trial!

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Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.