Health Check: Physician Referred Exercise Program gains momentum

Health Check: Physician Referred Exercise Program gains momentum. (NBC 10 Photo)

Physician Referred Exercise Program (P.R.E.P.) gains momentum.

This is a partnership between local health care providers and Healthtrax in Warwick.

"I was thrown pills, said no carbs. No other instructions,” said Geri Manning after she was diagnosed with diabetes in 2003. “I was putting weight on, feeling miserable."

Finally, when Manning was placed on insulin more than a year ago, she had had enough. Her new doctor wrote her a prescription for exercise at Healthtrax.

"I liked the monitoring of it because it gave me something black and white. You've lost x pounds. I've got this kind of muscle."

And she continues today.

"Last year, we had roughly 1400 referrals from physicians in the area,” said Brandon Hayes, program coordinator for P.R.E.P. “And we had 80 percent of those people actually walk through the door to get started."

Dr. Martin Kerzer, a family medicine physician, is a regular prescriber.

"It's very easy to tell a patient you need to exercise,” said Dr. Kerzer. “It's much better way to say this as an exercise program that you'll be guided in. It's set up just for you, individualized."

Lois Crudden was referred by her doctor a year ago.

“Because I was always tired and I had no energy and I got very depressed," she said. Crudden is now down 50 pounds.

“I have more energy."

And she has stuck with her exercise routine well beyond this 60 day program.

"We'll do blood pressure, heart rate,” said Hayes.

And a body composition analysis.

"Which measures muscle mass, body fat, water levels. You can see in detail how we're moving them through the whole program."

“I think a lot of times people focus on the scale,” said Dr. Jeannine Giovanni, director of bariatric surgery for Care New England, who regularly refers her patients to this program. “So my patients, having had bariatric surgery, they're going to lose weight but one of the things we tell them is that's not the ultimate goal. We want them to be healthier. We want them to be stronger, more flexible."

P.R.E.P. is a 60 day, $60 program that requires a referral.

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