Robin Frey is known as an innovator. As fitness manager at the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center on George Mason University’s Science and Technology Campus, Frey oversees the fitness staff, maintains group exercise programming, and teaches cycling, strength, and dance classes.
But she is also the lead trainer and clinical exercise specialist for the Exercise is Medicine (EIM) program, part of a global health initiative managed by the American College of Sports Medicine that she introduced to the Freedom Center in 2018.
Through the program, which focuses on using exercise for chronic disease prevention, management, and rehabilitation, Frey “is truly saving lives,” said Ronald Carmichael, director of administration and operations at the SciTech Campus.
“She works tirelessly to ensure that the fitness program at Freedom is by far the best in the region,” Carmichael said.
For her tireless and innovative work, Frey is November Employee of the Month.
Frey shares the honor with her team, she said, “for if not for their talent, drive, and passion for our cause, we would not be successful.”
Frey said she began researching medical fitness several years ago as a way to address the rising statistics of chronic disease in conjunction with sedentary lifestyles.
With the implementation of the EIM program, “we hired an amazing program manager, Tammy Rowland, and created a hand-selected team of credentialed individuals,” Frey said.
The EIM team works with patients, often referred by clinicians, and implements specialized plans for behavior change, lifestyle education, and clinical exercise prescription based on diagnosis.
“Each client is different, and Robin has built trust and confidence with not only the health care community and fitness professionals but with these patients,” said Michael Wharton, business manager for the Freedom Center.
Frey also led the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program at the Freedom Center.
Her colleagues applauded her efforts in continually finding new programs for clients, new training opportunities for staff, and maintaining her programs throughout the pandemic.
“Robin’s passion, inspiration and positive attitude in achieving excellence is an exemplary model for our members and of the Freedom Center values,” said Scott Prescott, building engineer for the Freedom Center.
How she got to Mason:
I was referred by a fitness associate who worked at the Freedom Center. I started part-time as an instructor in 2008 and became more involved on the program side in 2010. I introduced several programs, including a challenging weight-loss program that ran successfully for several years and advanced fitness fee-based programs. I began my current role as fitness manager in 2014.
Best day on the job:
Every day. We have a mission to promote health and wellness, and each day brings new opportunities.
What she likes best about working at Mason:
The incredible support of my manager, Olga O’Brien, who believes and trusts in what we do. I am also blessed with a very talented staff.
What she does when he’s not working:
I love being outdoors, cycling, kayaking, going to the beach, spending time with my family, and reading historical and old classic novels.