By Eugene Ramirez

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HOMESTEAD (CBSMiami) — Lisa Greene works out at Homestead Hospital before starting her shift at the Early Learning Center there.

We met her and about a dozen of her colleagues, including the hospital’s CEO, through CBS4’s MovingU Campaign. They’re participating in a year-long health and fitness program offered at various Baptist Health locations aimed at improving employees’ quality of life. For Greene, that means battling diabetes and high blood pressure.

movingu baptist health Moving U: Baptist Health Helping Employees Improve Their Quality Of Life

CBS4’s Eugene Ramirez and Baptist Health’s Lisa Greene hang out during the hospital’s year-long health and fitness program. (Source: CBS4)

“I have a teenage daughter and I want to be around, and see my grandkids and things like that,” says Lisa Greene, who lost 50 pounds on her own.

But then she started to lose steam.

“That’s what I needed the program for, for motivation, to become more active.”

The program gives Greene access to an army of health and medical experts and information.

“They’re assessed by a nurse practitioner, they’re assessed by the dietician, the exercise physiologist, to see where they are as far as their nutritional needs, physical needs and medical needs,” says Terry Ochoa, a registered dietician who helps run the employee program.

While each participant gets an individualized plan, the fitness portion is executed in a group setting. It allows employees to meet and encourage each other, and the workouts are adjusted as participant’s abilities improve.

“We wanna bump it up that way they don’t become stagnant,” says exercise physiologist Brian Betancourt.

Betancourt runs participants through a series of cardio and strength-training exercises, including some unconventional methods he describes as efficient and safe.

“That’s really all it is. Trying to teach them to make this a lifestyle skill, give them mastery over exercise,” says Betancourt.

Ultimately, it’s mastery over their personal health. Lisa Greene wants to get off the pills she’s been taking for five years. She’s on her way, with closely monitored exercise and diet, and the support of her coworkers. Greene jokes that colleagues now keep an eye on what they’re all having for lunch in the employee cafeteria so everyone stays on track.

The program leaders say it’s good for workplace morale, too, saying some of the coworkers didn’t even know each other’s names before starting the program.

Greene, who calls the program a ‘blessing,’ has a ways to go. The current group started in October and it runs for an entire year. Leaders, however, call it a lifetime commitment and say it’s not uncommon for past participants to keep checking back with the experts so they can stay on track.

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