As the fitness and wellness professions make the transition towards the healthcare delivery system understand the existing legal ecosystem that governs our scope of practice is becoming exceeding important. Although a discussion of law might now appear like the most riveting conversation, it is a critical important area to understand. We unpack the relevant aspects of fitness and wellness law in episode 68 of the Wellness Paradox Podcast with attorney Barbara Zabawa.
Barbara is the founder and President of the Center for Health and Wellness Law, LLC, a law firm dedicated to improving legal access and compliance for the health and wellness industries. Her practice is quite unique in the sense that there are very few practicing lawyers that specialize in this area of law. That, in and of itself, is a very good reason to listen to this episode, as the guidance Barbara will provide is a unique perspective that few in the legal profession have.
Our discussion will cover scope of practice, how to mitigate liability, the use of waivers and informed consent and other ways to de-risk your business as a fitness professional (whether you work for someone else or yourself). This becomes particularly important as our profession begins to work with individuals who are higher risk (those with chronic disease) and as we get more referrals from the medical community. While this doesn’t replace an individual discussion with a good knowledge lawyer, our chat with Barbara will provide some important context for you to understand some of the legal pitfalls fitness/wellness professionals face.
Our Guest: Barbara Zabawa
Barbara is the founder and President of the Center for Health and Wellness Law, LLC, a law firm dedicated to improving legal access and compliance for the health and wellness industries. She is also Clinical Assistant Professor for the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee College of Health Sciences, Department of Health Services Administration where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in health law and compliance, US health care delivery and health professions career development.
Additionally, Barbara is the founder of Pursesuitz, LLC, a mission-based fashion company featuring the Pocketwear Tank that promotes gender equality. Finally, she is also the founder of Lemonspark, a movement and podcast celebrating the sparks that lead people to meaningful pursuits after experiencing life’s lemons.
Barbara is lead author of the book Rule the Rules on Workplace Wellness Programs, published by the American Bar Association. She is also author of “The Tug: Finding Purpose and Joy through Entrepreneurship,” published by Henschel Haus Publishing in Spring 2021. She is a frequent writer and speaker on health and wellness law topics, having presented for national organizations such as WELCOA, National Wellness Conference, HPLive, Healthstat University and HERO.
Barbara serves health and wellness professionals and organizations across the country as an advocate, a transactional lawyer and a compliance resource. Her commitment to improving health and wellness also shows through her community service. Barbara founded the Wellness Compliance Institute, a nonprofit organization that seeks to improve wellness program and activity compliance. She has also served on the Board of Directors for the National Wellness Institute.
Barbara is licensed to practice law in both Wisconsin and New York.