JHMI Office of Communications and Public Affairs

July 21, 1998

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Johns Hopkins Medicine, Fitness Forum To Develop Physical Therapy and Wellness Clinics

Fitness Forum of Maryland Will Have Four Initial Sites

Johns Hopkins Medicine and Fitness Forum, a Syracuse-based health care provider and consulting firm, have signed an agreement to establish a network of rehabilitation facilities throughout metropolitan Baltimore.

The joint venture, known as Fitness Forum of Maryland, will operate four facilities to be located inside the Merritt Athletic Clubs in Annapolis, Security, Towson and the Downtown Athletic Club in Baltimore. Johns Hopkins Medicine will provide clinical oversight and quality control to the facilities and have a presence on the Fitness Forum of Maryland management committee. While there are no immediate plans to expand beyond the four sites, officials from Hopkins and Fitness Forum say future expansion is possible.

"This partnership extends our ability to serve our community by providing an important service conveniently and effectively," says Terry Langbaum, director of hospital affiliations for The Johns Hopkins Health System.

Fitness Forum will hold a series of lectures, seminars and injury clinics throughout the year for its communities on such topics as sports medicine, fitness during pregnancy and estrogen therapy.

Under terms of the joint venture, Hopkins has an equity interest of about 25 percent in Fitness Forum of Maryland. Following other recent Hopkins' business partnerships, Fitness Forum of Maryland is expected to generate a two-way referral stream, according to Langbaum.

"We may get referrals from patients who come to the sites with sports injuries and who need a physician referral for rehabilitation services," she says. "Conversely, we expect to refer patients to the Fitness Forum rehabilitation facilities when it is convenient and appropriate for them."

"This is clearly a unique partnership," says James Smith, CEO of Fitness Forum. "Combining physical therapy clinics and health clubs is a natural fit, and we believe we are among the first to do this. Our ability to deliver patient focused care, coupled with Johns Hopkins' clinical expertise, is very powerful. This partnership with Johns Hopkins Medicine strengthens our position as providers able to service all covered lives for physical therapy, fitness and wellness under managed care contracts."


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