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| IHRSA Report | Success by Association
Nurse supervises Physician Referred Exercise Program
(PREP) at ACAC Fitness & Wellness Center
Wendel has been pursuing that market through Giving Back
corporations and medically based exercise. In gratitude for his successful career, Wendel has
“The way to break new ground—beyond giving
been returning the favor to the industry for quite
a member discount, or having the company pro-
some time.
vide a subsidyi—s to explain to a CEO that you can
Wendel often sends new hires to the IHRSA
help the company with health issues and weight
Institute for Professional Club Management. He also
loss. That gives you something specific to sell.”
helped bring the Institute to Charlottesville in 2001.
He supports IHRSA’s public policy efforts. “I’ve
watched Helen Durkin and her staff do great

We’re on pace to grow both sales work defending our industry against sales taxes.
and revenues at our four clubs, to about
On the Federal front, we’ve worked hard to build
$34 million, up 7%. All of our locations will
relationships with legislators to get two important
show net gains in membership in 2009.
initiatives before Congress, Personal Health Invest-

ment Today (PHIT) and the Workplace Health
Improvement Program (WHIP).”
Wendel and Christine O’Neal-Thalwitz, writer/
Wendel first heard the term “physician refer-
researcher at ACAC, collaborated with IHRSA staff
rals” at an IHRSA convention years ago, which “lit
to produce a revised Economic Benefits of Regular
the lamp.”
Exercise brochure, published this year.
“Five years later, we had a program, 60/60,
In March, at the 29th Annual IHRSA Convention
now rebranded as PREP, for Physician Referred
& Trade Show in San Diego, Wendel will speak
Exercise Program, which offers exercise super-
about PREP; he will share the podium with Edward
vised by a registered nurse.”
Phillips, M.D., founder of Harvard Medical School’s
PREP has yielded 5,000 physician referrals
Institute of Lifestyle Medicine.
since its inception in 2005, and 2009 will be its
Wendel also served as the vice chairperson of
best year yet. The first six months saw nearly 900
the IHRSA board of directors for 2008-2009.
—|
referrals in Charlottesville alone. Some 40% of
PREP participants ultimately join ACAC. – Patricia Amend, Pamend@aol.com
www.ihrsa.org | JANUARY 2010 | Club Business International 101
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