Prescription to Get Active

$45 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 2 people in 10 months
Created August 9, 2018
Fundraising Team
on behalf of Lori Longwell
Who: Prescription to Get Active
What: Fitness & Healthcare working together - doctors prescribing fitness
How much: $100,000
For what: To launch phase 1 in Ontario

Prescription to Get Active is a program aimed at making physical activity an extension of healthcare.

It is based on a growing body of evidence that supports the critical role of physical activity in overall health and the pivotal role that primary care providers can play. If healthcare providers can influence patients to modestly increase physical activity levels, we can expect to see:

●      222,000 fewer hypertension cases

●      120,000 fewer diabetes cases

●      170,000 fewer heart disease cases

●      31,000 fewer cancer cases in Canada within 25 years.  

This could reduce healthcare costs by $2.6 billion and inject $7.5 billion into the Canadian Economy.


The program was launched in Alberta in 2011 and by 2015 became a national not for profit corporation. The program is now prescribed by 92% of doctors in the province. In 2017, 13,278 prescriptions were written, and 3,457 were redeemed through the website or at Rec centres (26%), with 43% of facility visitors purchasing additional passes after the free trial ended.


Now, we have launched the program in Ontario. The challenge is in scaling this program, which includes both healthcare and fitness providers, to ensure:

●      Healthcare and Fitness providers are introduced to the program

●      Providers are trained in dealing with patients

●      Patients have many facility and recreation options

●      There is an easy to use website and apps (in the future) to navigate the redemption of prescriptions

●      The day to day operations are in place to onboard and launch communities

●      There are mechanisms in place to track prescriptions and long-term health outcomes

Scaling this program would come in phases to roll it out in Ontario, optimize its operations and get the funding to expand it across the province and beyond.

How The Funds Will Be Spent:
Phase 1 - Rollout (Summer 2018 - Spring 2019)

The first phase of the rollout is establishing the first 10 communities in Ontario, and the focus of this fundraising effort. The basic infrastructure, website and people are in place, and it has soft launched in 4 communities already (Markham, Forest Hill, London, Stouffville), but this has taught us what resources will be required to expand the program effectively.

This starts with hiring a full-time project manager who can coordinate reaching out and introducing the program to healthcare and fitness providers, the onboarding and training of new healthcare and fitness providers and facilitate the tracking of prescriptions and outcomes. This training will also require video and print resources, along with travel expenses to get trainers to providers, and there are also printing needs for marketing including prescription pads for healthcare providers. The organization also has some minor operating expenses for phones, internet, legal, etc.

With these things in place, we will have the resources and materials to roll the program out to 10 communities in Ontario, along with having multiple healthcare and recreation providers in each community. With proper tracking of prescriptions and outcomes across 10 communities, we will also start to gather the data needed for further provincial and federal funding. In most cases, and especially with healthcare related funding, programs require some history of success and way to track the efficacy of the program related to funding goals. This funding will be key to expanding the program and continuing to improve its effectiveness.

Phase 2 - Expand and Add Resources (2019)

With a successful first phase, next would be to expand the program to more communities in Ontario and add more resources for patients to find recreation options. Building on the experience of the first 10 communities, we will continue to streamline the training and materials for providers. Upgrades or the development of a new website will help improve the patient experience and navigation to the resources they need to get more active. In this phase, we will also look to add to resources that will help the program be more accessible to all Ontarians regardless of facilities:

●      Mapped out walking, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing and other recreation trails

●      An online marketplace to purchase equipment for at home fitness

●      A library of workout programs available through the website

●      Mobile apps to navigate prescriptions and/or access content

The goal with this phase will be to expand the program to 20 new communities in Ontario, and collect more long-term data on patient outcomes to build a study on the efficacy of the program. With more long-term data from more communities, the case can start to be made that the costs of paying for prevention in the form of activity (fitness) support will help save cost on future treatments. This is a key step in seeing preventative care in this form covered by the healthcare system.    

Phase 3 - Funding and Scale (2020)

With almost two years of data and the program working in multiple communities across Ontario, the next phase will be focused on scaling the program to the whole province, and then the whole country. This data will also help make the case to see this program or an extension of it covered by the healthcare system as a form of preventative care.

The completion of this phase will deliver on the vision of this program of a Canada where fitness is an extension of the healthcare system and:

●      All doctors speak to and prescribe fitness

●      Everyone has access to multiple affordable options for fitness support

●      Fitness professionals are evidence based and qualified to deal with different health conditions

●      Data on fitness results can be summarized and included in the health record, accessible by doctors and the extended circle of care

●      Fitness memberships and personal training support are covered by the extended healthcare system (including insurance)

Donations will help fund the first phase of this program and establish the foundation to build towards this bigger vision. They will go directly to the charity to cover the operating costs, printing and production and hiring of a project manager to help roll the program out to 10 communities in Ontario. This will allow us to leverage further provincial and federal funding in the future, along with corporate sponsorship, in order to continue to expand the program across the province.

Please help us get started by donating or sharing this with anyone you know in the healthcare or fitness industries. Your support will lead to a more active Ontario and more active Canada. Help us show the world that activity and fitness is the top form of preventative healthcare.
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$45 of $100,000 goal

Raised by 2 people in 10 months
Created August 9, 2018
Fundraising Team
on behalf of Lori Longwell
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