Munroe Regional Medical Center’s Prestige 55 Program Oﬀers Comprehensive Wellness Programs, Education and Medical Assistance for Seniors
Munroe Regional Medical Center (MRMC) developed the Prestige 55 program in 1996 to ﬁll a gap in services for healthy seniors in the greater Ocala community. Although the region had extensive programs for many residents (such as children and high school students), there was no easy-access to social, leisure, wellness and health prevention for healthy seniors. The goal of the Prestige 55 program is to help older adults in the community get access to everything they need to be healthy – from preventive health care and prescription assistance to patient education and facilitation of exercise and community involvement.
Prestige 55 provides for a healthier community by focusing on the whole person including physical health, spiritual health, socialization, exercise, diet and education. The program’s activities are divided into four categories: ﬁtness, social/leisure, wellness and education. Fitness programs include tennis, dancing, yoga, Thai Chi, Pilates, water aerobics, walking, bowling and more. Social/leisure activities include gardening, retirement planning, prescription drug assistance, and a variety of day and evening activities. Recent examples of wellness and education include fall and balance screenings, cholesterol tests, hearing and eye screenings, education about medications and vitamins and seminars on nutrition and home safety.
The program also includes medical assistance such as prescription assistance and physician integration. Members receive assistance in applying to the prescription drug program directly and have access to discount prescription medications. Patients are also connected with pharmacists who provide guidance on medications that are compatible with their diagnosis or treatment as well as their health insurance and budget. The Health Resource Line provides direct access to a registered nurse who can provide referrals and ensure that patients are connected with the correct physician and a staﬀ person who can provide ﬁnancial planning counseling including information about Medicare and Medicaid products and services. The goal of Prestige 55 is to empower members with the information and knowledge they need to manage their own health.
“I was completely surprised by the drug program, as it saved me over $245 on one drug alone. This was one blessing that brought me to my knees. It was truly a godsend.
-Michael, Prestige 55 Member
A critical extension of all the programs is the community involvement and the resulting relationships that are formed amongst the seniors in the community. As a result of Prestige 55 involvement, many seniors who had previously been alone have developed new friendships and relationships, and a renewed focus for their free time.
When the program ﬁrst began, there were 50 members. Each member pays a membership fee of $8/per year or a lifetime fee of $25. Although the price has remained the same, the program now has nearly 30,000 members. Members pick and choose what they want to participate in selecting from a large menu of opportunities for activities, education and wellness and prevention.
In 2012, more than 15,000 Prestige 55 members participated in ﬁtness programs including bowling, water aerobics, line dancing, square dancing, Thai Chi, yoga, Pilates, softball league, golf leagues, stretching/toning, Latin cardio and belly dancing. More than 13,500 members participated in 397 educational seminars conducted by Munroe physicians and staﬀ. Twenty-four free or discounted wellness screenings were also oﬀered in 2012 with 288 members receiving screenings at those events. More than 9,400 members use the prescription drug card, Prestige Plus, which oﬀers medication discounts and assistance.
In addition, Prestige 55 publishes a quarterly magazine that is distributed throughout the community. Words to the Wise advertises upcoming classes, provides important educational information, and includes an overview of critical Munroe services. Over 76,000 newsletters are published and distributed annually.
Prestige 55 is funded and operated by Munroe Regional Medical Center. The growing program is now a service line of excellence within the medical center, with a full-time program coordinator and 48 volunteers who manage the vital, highly impactful program.