Exercise is Just What the Doctor Ordered

At the Owensboro Health Healthpark, exercise can be a prescription.

Senior couple exercisingExercise is Medicine is a provider prescribed program that helps tailor an exercise program that patients can follow, and also enjoy.

“When patients come in, we discuss their health history and their goals. The trainers try to make the workout program as specific as possible for each patient,” said Amber Hesson, an exercise referral specialist at the Healthpark. “The patients are getting a very specific program based on their needs.”

The Healthpark has the added benefit of being a medical-based fitness center. That means the staff have higher levels of training and expertise.

Amber Hesson

Amber Hesson
Exercise Referral Specialist

“All our program staff have four-year bachelor’s degrees in some area of exercise science, as well as certifications in personal training or other related fields,” Hesson said.

Physical activity is especially important for patients with cancer. That’s because it can have beneficial effects and also mitigate some side effects of cancer and cancer treatments. A number of Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center’s patients are referred to the Exercise is Medicine program and a little over 54% enter it. The program has an 85% completion rate, but the positive effects go far beyond that.

“We have several benefits with the Exercise is Medicine program,” Hesson said. “We see decreased blood pressure and heart rate, and a decrease in body fat. We test strength components too, and we see increased upper body strength, core strength, flexibility, and recovery heart rate.”

"We ask them about their mental health, energy levels, how they're sleeping, how happy they are with their lives. We see improvements in all those areas."

Hesson said there are other benefits, too.

“We also do pre- and post-program questionnaires, looking from a patient’s point of view,” Hesson said.

Exercise is Medicine Statistics: Aug. 10, 2015 - Nov. 7, 2018

# In the program - 1,615
# of referring providers - 286
Compliance rate - 80.62%
Total completed - 1,186
Weight loss - 63.15%
Decreased weight size circumference - 59.02%
Average decrease in waist - 1.98 INCHES
Decreased blood pressure - 61.21%
Increased upper body strength - 39.88%
Increased core strength - 33.14%
Increased flexibility - 45.95%
Decreased heart rate - 50.59%
Improved recovery heart rate - 36.85%
Decreased body fat percentage - 52.28%

Contact Us

Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center - 270-688-3600 or toll-free at 800-947-7102

Radiation Oncology - 270-688-3600

Hematology & Oncology - 270-688-3445

Oncology Patient Navigators - 270-688-3691 or 270-688-1946 or 270-688-3657

Outpatient Infusion - 270-688-3630

Medical Oncology (Inpatient) - 270-417-2800

Cancer Screening - 270-417-7641

Lung Cancer Screening Program - 270-417-7641

Clinical Trials - 270-688-1938

Oncology Education - 270-688-3619

Director of Cancer Services - 270-688-3640

Cancer Registry - 270-688-3636

You Can

Joan Hayden and her husband

Cancer often doesn’t show symptoms in its initial stages. That’s why you may benefit from screenings that help detect the disease early—when treatment works best.

Schedule your screening by calling 877-888-6647 (toll-free).

Get Cancer Care at Owensboro Health.