• Running Wolf Fitness Center thru Native American Community Clinic and Indian Health Board Running Wolf Fitness Center thru Native American Community C...


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Mission Statement

Running Wolf Fitness center is to make exercise the norm and the overall goal is to increase the practice of regular exercise in NA families and the community at large to help improve health, prevent chronic disease and help control disease in those with diabetes and hypertension and other chronic conditions.


Executive Summary - Running Wolf Fitness Center

RunningWolfFitnessCenteris an exercise and wellness center in the Phillips neighborhood ofMinneapolis. It was designed for the local Native American community in order to provide an accessible, safe place for the community to exercise, attend classes and have personal trainer assistance. The program is a collaborative effort between two local Community Health Centers: the Native American Community Clinic (NACC) and the Indian Health Board of Minneapolis (IHB). Each clinic is responsible for the management and oversight of the center.

Both clinics serve similar populations: 95% are below 200% of poverty and 40% are uninsured. Staff from both clinics have seen the alarming health disparities experienced by Native Americans living in the Twin Cities area. Approximately 70% of patients are obese and many suffer from diabetes and heart disease. The typical medical model is to treat the patient’s disease, however, the two clinics have recognized that in order to prevent and effectively treat chronic disease, community members need an affordable, conveniently located place to exercise and to improve their own health. IHB and NACC jointly opened Running Wolf Fitness Center (RWFC) at thePhillipsCommunity Centerin October 2011. The center provides exercise instruction, equipment and classes as well as specific wellness classes for participants to learn about healthy living. The clinics hope to promote the concept of regular exercise becoming the norm for the Native American community- and for the community members to participate in their own health improvement.

Description of Project

RWFC opened in October 2011 to help address the health disparities experienced by patients served by IHB and NACC including:

69.7% of Native Americans are Overweight or Obese. (CDC)

  • 77.4% do not have a regular exercise routine (CDC)
  • Native Americans are more than twice as likely to have Type II Diabetes as whites (NHIS)

To date Running Wolf has served over 300 registered users with 1100 total visits. The first 6 months of operations were free to community members and included consultation with a personal trainer as well as use of the weight equipment, cardio machines and instructor-led fitness classes. In four months we have already seen the value that the center provides. Upon enrollment, we collect fitness measurements (weight, BMI, blood pressure) on each client and track them over time. We are already hearing from our clients about the positive health changes such as weight loss, lower A1C’s and blood pressures that they are reporting. We plan to do six month follow-ups with clients to measure progress.

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