Exercise Is Medicine Program Lets Doctors at KU "Prescribe" Exercise

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Bob Hallinan

Executive Producer

Office: (913) 588-7284

Cell: (913)-481-7329



If you want to lose weight, battle depression or manage chronic pain, your doctor may suggest regular exercise. What if you had a concrete way for you, your doctor and certified physical-activity experts to work together to ensure that exercise happened and achieved measurable results? That’s where KU’s Exercise Is Medicine program comes in.

Exercise is Medicine is a unique program at the Kirmayer Fitness Center on the University of Kansas Medical Center campus. Physicians from The University of Kansas Health System can now “prescribe” exercise for their patients by sending a “script” (or plan of action) to trainers within Kirmayer. These trainers, certified with the American College of Sports Medicine, then work with patients and send regular status reports to physicians. It’s a helpful way to bridge the disconnect between doctors’ recommendations to exercise and a structured exercise plan.

In this video, patient Leif Terslin talks about how the Exercise is Medicine program has helped him both physically and mentally as he prepares for a liver transplant at The University of Kansas Health System. His doctor, Jody Olson, M.D., associate professor of internal medicine in the School of Medicine and a transplant hepatologist at The University of Kansas Health System, provides the medical reasons why Terslin would benefit from exercise before his transplant surgery.

Also interviewed is Corie Cutshall, MS, manager of the Kirmayer Fitness Center, and Ashley Goff, APRN, nurse practitioner, who has seen dramatic changes in Terslin as he’s exercised. Terslin may have approached the Exercise is Medicine program as a potential-transplant patient, but based on his success, he’s recommending it to everyone.

The video also shows Leif working out at the Kirmayer Fitness Center.