Vice President, Account Management
Ann has been with HealthFitness for 20 years and has more than 22 years of experience in the health management and fitness industry. She oversees a national account management team, provides leadership support and guides strategy development for new health management and corporate fitness programs, the transition of existing programs, employee recruiting and training, program quality assurance and operations management.
Subject Matter Expertise
- Best practices in program design
- Leadership engagement and support
Some people call me a health management veteran. It’s an accurate assessment after almost a quarter century of experience with HealthFitness, but I’m more like a trail guide. The path is familiar—but still holds surprises—and the camaraderie we build on the journey is one of the best parts of the job.
The trail guide analogy aligns with my mantra for program design: begin with the end in mind. Before setting out to climb a mountain, everyone in the group must reach agreement on the destination. Then we evaluate resources, define expectations and assign roles and responsibilities. When I work with a client, we first establish a mutual understanding of who we are trying to reach, what we want to accomplish and who will be accountable for what. In general terms, the “end” is measurable improvement in the health of their population. But the specifics of the journey are different for each organization. To succeed, we must be always be mindful of the end goal, circle it, return to it for important decisions, and communicate it to program participants.
As an exercise physiologist, I envisioned a career working with individuals and groups of participants to help them make healthy changes in their lives. I loved seeing lives change. As HealthFitness evolved as a company, my opportunities expanded, and I began to work with client accounts representing thousands of lives. Every day, I consult directly with clients and the regional directors and program managers I supervise in the field. What I used to do with individuals—set goals for health improvement, identify challenges, overcome barriers—I now do for populations. I tell people I have the best job in the world; the role my team plays and the impact we make on more than a hundred thousand lives can’t be beat.
One thing I’ve learned is that in health management, none of us can afford to take the fun out of what we’re doing. A participant who can’t imagine walking five miles just for exercise may be open to a team walking event or company-wide competition. Make it fun, and they’ll be back to walk again and again. For me, building camaraderie with my team often means indulging in a little fun, too. I’m willing to make fun of myself—even if it means dressing up like Lois Lane to get a point across.
A trail guide has to lead, adapt and inspire the group to take those last few steps to reach the goal. That’s what my team does each time we launch a program, or re-invigorate a stagnant program that a new client may already have in place. We work with clients to build rapport and engender trust as part of their team, and build relationships that can motivate people to action. On a more focused level, it’s what our program managers also do every day—lead individuals along a personalized path to better health, adapt communication and programs to reflect the organization’s current needs and culture, and inspire participants to take that next step on the path to health improvement.