Good Shepherd Fitness Center team members helping patients from afar

Submitted by Jen Anderson
Updated 3/27/2020 7:35 PM

Like all fitness centers in the state, the Good Shepherd Hospital Health and Fitness Center has closed its doors at this time due to the public health concerns at hand.

And, like many hospitals, Good Shepherd Hospital has advised visitor restrictions in the interest of keeping patients, staff and community safe. So, how can these two scenarios partner together to make a positive impact on patient care?


By enlisting the team members from the fitness center to make patient care calls, from afar.

With a dedicated team of fitness professionals, the Good Shepherd Hospital leadership team has come up with a way for everyone to contribute.

The fitness staff is making patient care calls to inpatients that can't receive visitors and patients and staff are getting a helping hand along the way. The goal of the calls is to make sure that the patients know that although in-person visits are scarce, they can stay connected and cared for with a warm phone call.

The fitness staff has a chance to find out how their day is going, share stories and brighten their day, all from afar. And, the phone calls can also help out the clinical teams as well.

In the conversations, patients might express that they are missing a hairbrush or a toothbrush, they might mention that the light overhead is too bright or their TV remote is out of reach, and the team member making the call can make notes and then follow up with the nurses to let them know what specific patients in each room might need. These little comfort items can make a big difference, and by partnering together, the fitness staff and clinical teams can make sure that they patients we are all here to serve remain comfortable and cared for.

"The fitness staff is comprised of a large number of Advocate Associates, all here for many years, looking to contribute in any way we can. By coming up with a creative way to connect our team to the patients we serve, we all get benefits -- the fitness staff is able to do what we do best, which is connect with people," says Jen Frey, Director of Good Shepherd Fitness Center. "Our staff has been truly grateful to contribute to the positive experience of the patients. As members of the Advocate family, we know that we are stronger together and that we can all be part of the solution."

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