Updates from EIM

Understanding the Challenges of EIM Implementation from a Health System Perspective

April 15, 2022 by Cayce Onks, D.O., M.S., ATC

Despite the compelling evidence supporting the benefits of physical activity, health systems in the United States have not adopted universal implementation plans to provide patients with every opportunity to become physically active. The science of implementing an Exercise is Medicine (EIM) approach has not been well studied nor understood and presents an exciting, fertile opportunity for research. This type of research goes beyond the health benefits from a specific exercise program to examine the characteristics of an intervention that ensure successful adoption, reach and sustainability. This session on Wednesday, June 1 from 1-3 p.m. PST at the EIM World Congress will explore barriers that are encountered by administrators in health systems who have struggled to bring EIM to their patients.  We also seek to learn from their successes to highlight best practices for those members looking to implement EIM within their respective health systems and to potentially identify important research questions that need to be answered.  

Dr. Matthew Silvis, M.D. will moderate the session. Dr. Silvis is the current Director of Ambulatory Health for Penn State Health and Medical Director for Primary Care Sports Medicine. A key aspect of his leadership role is to create system-wide primary care services for the health system. In this role he has experienced the challenges of implementing EIM. He will use his personal experiences to moderate a conversation amongst our three panelists, each representing key stakeholders when contemplating initiatives such as EIM implementation in a large health system.   

Our panelists include Dr. Eugene Hong, M.D. who serves as the Chief Physician Executive for the Medical University of South Carolina. He has extensive experience in developing and implementing the infrastructure required to provide patients the resources to become more physically active. He will provide us with the physician perspective.     

Our second panelist offers a voice from the insurance industry. Amy Starr is a Senior Manager for MindBody Medicine Operations, which is part of Wellvolution Blue Shield California. She has been immersed in developing wellness resources available to members of Blue Shield of California.  

Finally, Rachel Yost joins us from Penn State Health. She is a Senior Director for Value Based Operations. She works with health system executives to determine how health systems can best care for patients capitalizing on value-based care payments and population health initiatives. She will be providing a value-based payment and population health perspective of the challenges and opportunities of implementing EIM in a health system.   

We are excited for each of these panelists to present their practical perspectives regarding EIM implementation.  Short presentations will be followed by a group Q&A with a discussion of challenging scenarios encountered when attempting to implement EIM initiatives within health systems and how those barriers can be overcome.  We hope that attendees leave this symposium better equipped to move EIM initiatives forward in their respective health systems and understand areas in need of research.  

This session will also be available in the EIM World Congress virtual program.  

Cayce Onks, D.O., M.S., ATCDr. Onks is Director of the Penn State Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship program in Hershey, PA and a member of the EIM Clinical Practice Committee. 

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