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Making Exercise is Medicine a Clinical Reality w/Robyn Stuhr


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Making Exercise is Medicine a Clinical Reality w/Robyn Stuhr

There are very few people (particularly listeners of the Wellness Paradox) that would dispute the notion that exercise is medicine. On many levels this is the rallying cry of our profession. While it may be that potent message, we need more than a strong rallying cry to make exercise is medicine a reality within the healthcare community. Operationalizing exercise is medicine into clinical practice has been a significant strategic emphasis of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), through their Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) initiative. The ACSM’s EIM program seeks to make physical activity assessment and promotion a standard of clinical care around the globe.

In episode 67 we talk with Robyn Stuhr, the Vice President of Exercise is Medicine® at the ACSM. Our discussion will focus on the important pillars needed to make EIM a reality, clinically. First, we’ll discuss the newly revamped Exercise is Medicine® curriculum. This specialty certificate, offered by ACSM, provides fitness professionals with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to work with individuals who have common chronic diseases. Furthermore, it also provides an understanding of the healthcare landscape and health coaching principles for lasting behavior change. Overall, this revamp is an exciting iteration of the previous curriculum.

Our conversation also expanded to the other levers that must be pulled to operationalize the exercise is medicine objectives of assessment and promotion. As we’ll discuss, consistency in academic curriculum, electronic health record integration, policy level changes, strong clinical champions, and a robust infrastructure for community referral are all areas that must be addressed. Robyn provides an absolutely fascinating look “under the hood” at the high-level work going on to make exercise is medicine a clinical reality. This is most definitely an encouraging and inspiring discussion for fitness professionals who are working hard every day to solidify their place in the healthcare delivery system.

Our Guest: Robyn M. Stuhr, M.A., ACSM-CEP

Robyn is Vice President, Exercise is Medicine® at the American College of Sports Medicine.  She is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) as a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist and has 30 years of clinical experience in health care including cardiac rehabilitation, business and occupational health and sports medicine.  She was Sports Medicine Program Director at UC San Diego Health, acting as liaison to the US Olympic Committee Medical Network.  Robyn helped to create the first Women’s Sports Medicine Center in the United States at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, dedicated to the treatment of active and athletic women.  She has been a contributing editor to ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal and ACSM’s Standards and Guidelines for Health and Fitness Facilities and has lectured extensively to professional and lay audiences about a variety of topics including exercise for bone and cardiovascular health, weight management, exercise through menopause, and effective behavioral strategies for an active lifestyle. 

Links from this Episode:

Rx for Health Series

EIM Research Learning Collaborative

EIM Online Course and Credential (and other ACSM specialty certificates)