St. Joseph's Hospitals, South Florida Baptist Hospital Offer Get Into Fitness Today (GIFT) Program

March 01, 2018

St. Joseph’s Hospitals, South Florida Baptist Hospital Offer Get Into Fitness Today (GIFT) Program

PLANT CITY, Fla., March 1, 2018 – “It was a lot of fun – it was like a getaway.  I learned a lot.  My doctor’s appointments have been going great and I lost weight.”

“I learned nutrition information and exercise, and put myself first.”

“I learned that I’m not alone in the journey and enjoyed meeting these people, and line dancing.”

These comments are from participants in St. Joseph’s Hospitals’ and South Florida Baptist Hospital’s Get Into Fitness Today (GIFT) program.  The free, 12-week weight loss and wellness program began in November and is conducted at eight locations in Hillsborough County, including St. Joseph’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, South Florida Baptist Hospital, San José Mission and La Esperanza.

GIFT, developed by the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County, uses science-based information to reduce chronic diseases through obesity prevention.  The department provided a grant to the hospitals to offer the program.

“GIFT is a good fit for us because it addresses an opportunity that BayCare identified in its Community Health Needs Assessment,” said Lauren Luchan, Community Health coordinator.

Classes are conducted in English and Spanish.  There are no fad diets to follow, no special foods or drinks to purchase, and all program materials are provided at no cost to the participants.  During the first six weeks of GIFT, participants learn about food and nutrition, focusing on food portioning and labels.  During the second six weeks, the focus is on maintenance, fitness and health diseases.

“We have received a lot of good feedback,” Luchan said.  “In addition to losing weight, many participants are able to discontinue medications.  A lot of couples join GIFT together.  The dedication of our instructors provides participants with a counselor for the 12 weeks to keep them motivated.”

The next 12-week sessions at South Florida Baptist Hospital begin March 15 and March 29 and at St. Joseph’s Hospital 13 and March 15.

GIFT is open to anyone who lives or works in the community of Hillsborough County over the age of 18.  To register or find out more information, email or call (813) 554-8957.

About South Florida Baptist Hospital

Since 1953, South Florida Baptist Hospital has served Plant City and surrounding areas as a not-for-profit community hospital.  The progressive, 147-bed acute care facility offers a full range of diagnostic, rehabilitative, surgical, therapeutic and women’s services, including obstetrics.  South Florida Baptist Hospital is part of the BayCare Health System, a family of health care providers consisting of the 15 leading not-for-profit hospitals in the Tampa Bay region.

About BayCare Health System

BayCare is a leading not-for-profit health care system that connects individuals and families to a wide range of services at 15 hospitals and hundreds of other convenient locations throughout the Tampa Bay and central Florida regions. Inpatient and outpatient services include acute care, primary care, imaging, laboratory, behavioral health, home care, and wellness. Our mission is to improve the health of all we serve through community-owned, health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care.