Fit for All


From St. Rita’s Medical Center



When a person chooses to work in a hospital, they probably care about people in some way. Whether it is mentally, emotionally or physically, those who work in the hospital have a sense of dedication to helping people.

In 1986 when Suzanne Hendershot came up with the idea to get the community involved in being healthier, she took on a big project. Her idea to get people moving came in the form of a television show called Fit for All, an instructional aerobic and strength training show.

“It was an idea to get the community involved and participating; because it was also an instructional show it would go over correct body alignment and modified ways to do the strength training portion and modified ways to do the aerobic portion,” Suzanne shared.

The show was a different way to advertise St. Rita’s and Orchard Hill, which was also owned by St. Rita’s. At the time, there were many aerobic fitness shows on and St. Rita’s joined that market as well. The episodes aired three times per week, once in the morning and again around noon. The shows aired for about two years.

The show included instruction on how to take exercise pulse and heart rate and different ways to incorporate exercise into daily life, while showing the correct way to do one of the exercises highlighted in the show. A typical episode started with a warm up into stretching, an aerobic section, strength training and a cool down stretch.

“Since the background participants were from the community and local businesses, this would enhance the potential of the community watching and participating along with the show.”

The content and timing for the show was done by Suzanne Hendershot and there were many participants including St. Rita’s employees, Orchard Hill aerobics instructors and members of the community. The audio-visual team at the hospital filmed some and the rest of the filming at sites and editing were done by Time Warner Cable.

The show was sponsored by many local businesses including Kewpee Hamburgers, Dominion Gas, University of Northwestern Ohio, Lima Superior Credit Union, WLIO, and BP to name a few. Being supported by so many organizations made the show a great part of the community.

Being a part of that change was important to Suzanne. “It was a fantastic journey to a part of; representing St. Rita’s, creating the contents of the show, and being a part of leading the community in exercising healthily and safely.”

Suzanne has now been with St. Rita’s for 32 years and currently works in the Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation department. When she took on the show, it was a very different adventure for St. Rita’s at the time. The show was a success because it did what Suzanne had planned — get the community moving and start an exercise following.

“It worked. Everyone wanted to be on TV. You would see groups of people with their Fit for All T-shirts out walking together.”

Suzanne appreciates being a part of St. Rita’s because she has the ability to live the core values within herself and enjoys being able to share her passion with others.

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From St. Rita’s Medical Center

This is part of a monthly series of stories submitted by St. Rita’s Medical Center marking the 100th anniversary of the hospital.

This is part of a monthly series of stories submitted by St. Rita’s Medical Center marking the 100th anniversary of the hospital.

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