Medically-Focused Programs

As part of Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital, the Betsie Hosick Health and Fitness Center offers several free classes and programs that are medically-focused and disease specific.

Moving Forward with Parkinson’s Disease

This class was developed based on years of evidenced based research that has found large, repetitive and sustained movement combined with exercise helpful for people with Parkinson’s Disease. These movements help individuals with Parkinson’s Disease and other movement challenges to improve function and slow motor deterioration. Participants also receive cardio benefit, along with functional endurance training. Join LVST-trained Occupational Therapist Karen Getz every Thursday at 11 a.m. To learn more, call 231-352-9661.

Support Group: Benzie Parkinson's Bravery Brigade

The mission of the Benzie Parkinson's Bravery Brigade is to educate and improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson's disease and their care partners by facilitating relationships and the exchange of information in an environment that is supportive of movement and exercise.

Meetings are held monthly at 9:30 am. Each meeting will offer a relevant presentation by a local health care provider or expert from a community organization and group discussion. Upcoming topics include stress management, sleep matters, and nutrition. All are welcome.

To learn more, please call 231-622-5140 or email

Active Steps

Active Steps is a beginner’s class for individuals on dialysis or with pre-diabetes that focuses on strength training, cardio, core, and balance.

A certified athletic trainer will guide you every step of the way to ensure you are meeting your individual goals and will leave the program with the confidence to continue on your own. This class runs twice a week for 10 weeks and is offered four times a year. Sessions start in January, April, July, and October. Pre-registration is required. Providers may complete the medical clearance form for their patients. Call 231-651-9048 to learn more.  

What Participants Say About Active Steps

“When it came to results [I experienced] better care of my diabetes, improved blood sugars, and enough time at the gym to hopefully have achieved a new good habit. I lost about 2 pounds, which was not one of my goals and I know it’s not a lot, but I was slipping, so to maintain is a victory.”

“Did I mention this was free? It would have been worth what they may have charged, but I’m not sure I would have jumped right into it. Thank you Paul Oliver, your preventive approach to disease is very much appreciated.”

Awesome program! Thanks for the motivation to get off my butt, for the little pushes I needed, and the smiles and fun. I feel more in shape and plan on continuing with more days in the gym with my membership. My jeans fit great, my favorite shirt fits better, and even my daughter and family see a change in me. It’s a wonderful feeling, and this class was the push I needed. You rock.”

“This program was so good for me—much more energy and strength. Better self-esteem, improved balance, and I met new people. The social part is very important. I loved the variety and learned a little bit of everything. Great program, great director.”

“I’m not usually much of a class person, but I loved Active Steps. The class is perfectly planned to make students function independently, writing their own workouts in only nine weeks. I am eager to continue exercising, using what I have learned.”

Journey Program for People with Cancer

The Journey Program was developed by certified personal trainers and cancer exercise specialists in 2009. Based in Traverse City, they worked with local centers to bring this essential service close to home for community residents.

The class supports patients who have become chronically fatigued or deconditioned from treatment. The small group format supports patients in maintaining perspective as they battle the disease and return to normal life.

Each session focuses on strength training exercises, including free weights, machines, and cables. Cardiovascular exercise also is taught with introduction to various machines, including the treadmill, elliptical, and stationary bike. Training for core, balance, flexibility, and postural retraining also are included in the program.

The program is led by Arthur Adkins, certified athletic trainer.

People eligible for the program include newly diagnosed cancer patients, those who are undergoing treatment, those in remission, and cancer survivors who are up to two years post treatment.

Pre-registration is required. Registration forms are available by emailing

This class runs twice a week for 10 weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays and is offered four times a year. Sessions start in January, April, July, and October. Call 231-651-9048 to learn more.

What Participants Say About the Journey Program

“I wish I had participated in this program sooner. I have the ability now to go for a walk, monitor my progress in my exercises, and I actually see a light at the end of the tunnel. I now have the majority of my range of motion in my arms and shoulder and the tools to care for myself when issues arise. This program should be attended by anyone who fights cancer. This program shows you how to get back to living.” 

“The Journey Program helped me form an exercise program that I can now incorporate into my daily life. With the hiatus from exercise due to cancer and treatment, I was at a loss as to what, where, and how much I should/could do. The program gave me a beautiful overview and understanding of a well-balanced life plan to encourage the growth of balance, flexibility, strength and cardio. It was a wonderful experience with wonderful people.”

“I have met my goals I set at the beginning of the class. I am able to walk two blocks with no pain. My endurance has increased a great deal. I will continue to recommend the Journey Program to other cancer patients I meet. This class has inspired me to continue exercising.”

“The Journey Program provided me with excellent motivation to exercise in a safe and fun environment. It improved my well-being by keeping me active and helping me develop a personalized exercise program to meet my specific needs. The Journey Program also helped kick start me toward a fuller, more meaningful life and healthier lifestyle. It was also especially beneficial to meet other recovering cancer survivors and to develop strong relationships.”

“This is an awesome program, run by fantastic people, and giving spectacular results. My overall health and well-being have been dramatically and measurably improved thanks to this program. Not only the immediate benefits of improved strength and stamina and flexibility and range of motion – but the long-term benefits of knowledge about the proper way to exercise as well as the practical knowledge of how to use all the exercise machinery. This program literally changed my life for the better.”

“The Journey Program not only gave me a much-needed positive support group of cancer survivors but also helped me to strengthen my body for an upcoming large hernia surgery. I learned how to exercise with my limitations, build up muscle strength, improve my balance, and the length of time I am able to exercise.”