Fit for Life Medical Services is a fully registered health facility located in the Spiceland Mall, Morne Rouge, Grand Anse, St. George. Its mission is to provide top quality, ambulatory medical and surgical services to all citizens and visitors within the tri island state of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
Our Motto: Redefining the way we look at health.
In this interview the Barnacle spoke with Co-founder, Cecil Mitchell and asked him about the benefits to the nation.
Mr. Cecil Mitchell, thank you for taking time off from your busy schedule to talk to the Barnacle and affording us the opportunity to promote Fit for Life Medical Services.
What separates this facility from what’s existing now; from other facilities similar to this around the island?
Fit for Life Health Services is a team of health professionals, including a wide range of specialists, to deal with just about any health condition and diagnosis that you can think about. You are ill and visit a doctor, who will then refer you to a specialist or several other specialists at various locations. But you are in tremendous discomfort and need help NOW! Then, the frustration of waiting in long lines, a waiting list, and possibly unanswered calls. All this added aggravation and then you still have to wait to get an appointment to see that specialist. At Fit for Life Medical Services all of these doctors are available right here at one location.
So Fit for Life Medical Services will strive to provide a “one-stop-shop’’ for health and doctors to meet all your medical needs. One stop, one location, under one roof.
No hassle, no running around, no unnecessary phone calls or long lines.
Our team comprises of a surgeon, gynecologist, orthopedic doctor, general practitioner, psychiatrist; I mean, you name it. The list goes on, including eye specialist and neurologist and last – but not least – we offer in-house alternative health services; for example, nutritional consultations and acupuncture.
At FFLMS we also provide surgical procedures. We are extremely excited about these services and here is one reason; you go to a doctor and it’s found that you need surgery. You wouldn’t have to go looking for a surgeon because you will be referred to one right here, in-house; someone who can do minor and intermediate procedures as needed. It’s one phone call away, one door away, one step away. You can have your surgery scheduled at the same time.
How would you respond to this question where people would say, well there are all kinds of doctors all over the place, all kinds of doctors’ offices, why do you think you need to set this up?
I would say, a facility of this nature is lacking in Grand Anse and surrounding communities. Well, you may say there are doctors’ offices in town and Grand Anse; but, an office that would comprise of many different doctors under one roof is what we a providing. This is such a powerful concept because even at times when you go to the doctor, and you’re not satisfied or you may need to get a second opinion, that additional visit for that second opinion sometimes costs you way too much money. Now, here we have a pool of professionals that can consult in-house with other health professionals and specialists to resolve your condition.
At times, you may need further services for diagnostic determination; for example, an EKG. You can get the EKG done right here at the Fit for Life Medical Services. You may also need to get an ultrasound to go deeper into determining the source of your complaint. This service is also provided right here at Fit for Life Medical Services.
So, in response to WHY this service? I’ll say also effectiveness, efficiency, reasonable cost, no hassle of where should you go and the worry of long lines and numerous locations. And here at FFLMS there is a lot of parking at Spiceland Mall.
Just name it: privacy and confidentiality, we’re upstairs Fit for Life Health Club, that’s the gym; our entrance is towards the back. So sometimes no one would even see you coming to the doctor. It’s so private, it’s like we’re in a world of our own.
What role is technology playing in all that you are doing?
Well, I could look at many different aspects. Technology in the sense of our ultrasound is state of the art. I could proudly say that we have one of the best ultrasonographers, with state of the art equipment. We can do just about any ultrasound that there is to be done.
Also, we’re linked to Mitchell’s Health and Wellness Pharmacies, so we aim always to make this a one-stop process. If needed, we can have your prescription delivered to you before leaving the doctor’s office.
What is your overall objective of this facility?
The overall objective is to provide a state of the art medical service to Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique at the most affordable prices possible. We believe that no one should feel pressured, thus unable to be seen by a doctor because of their financial situation. So, as I mentioned, state of the art service; one-stop; convenience; quick, reliable service; confidentiality and professionalism. So all of these are basically what our objectives are.
How long has it been since you’ve been thinking about this project?
This idea came since the inception Fit for Life Health Club. It wasn’t just about a gym or about people working out, but something very holistic. Our health establishment started with the pharmacies; then, we thought we should also look at preventing some of the diseases and the ailments that people suffer from.
Fit for Life Health Club is the preventative aspect of this health facility, which focuses on education, nutrition and exercise. So, why not have in-house doctors? Why not create a network of health professionals? And that concept of having many doctors under one roof, many specialists.
How much of what you’re doing is business and how much of what you’re doing is a direct impact on the state of health on the island?
We try to stay focused on health and on improving the general health of the nation. Our dream is for Grenadians to be healthier; more conscious of the illnesses and the sicknesses that are out there; and raise awareness of the state of the health of the nation as it relates to things like chronic disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stress, heart disease, you name it; and even the state at which we are at now with the increase in cancers, especially in the younger generation and high blood pressure and diabetes in children. I mean, it’s a chronic situation and it’s very sad.
We have kids’ summer fun programs and events like Fitness Revolution. Our theme has always been a war against ill health and chronic diseases. So whether it’s Carnival fun or jump up, our focus remains on the fight for health and wellness for the nation.
So a healthier nation is the basis for the pharmacy, for the Fit for Life gym and for Fit for Life Medical Services?
Yes. And we will continue to fight for the health of this nation.
How passionate are you?
I’m really, really passionate about all that we do. Morning, noon and night, I literally think about ways of improving the health industry: what can we do to reach our goal for a healthier nation, my family, my wife and children? I’m extremely passionate.
How do you see Fit for Life Medical Services in the short-term, the medium-term and long-term?
In the short-term, I would like to let Grenada know that we are here. We have the facility to just about handle walk-ins and appointments. We have the doctors, we have the specialists, we have the staff and they are ready to devote themselves to listen, support and serve you.
In the medium-term, we would be seeking ways in which we can improve in serving you, and to continually aim to expand and better serve what we offer – service-wise, equipment-wise, maybe space-wise; we welcome feedback.
In the long-term, I would like to see Fit for Life Medical Services further diversify and become a major stakeholder in Grenada’s health industry. There are other parts of the puzzle that we are still working on and will be fitted in at the right time; but the dream has already been written. We are very focused on what we want to do pertaining to health. This only the beginning.
Health is expensive, generally. I know you have a passion for health. How are you able to provide a good service and, at the same time, maintain a rate that is affordable?
Thank you for this important question, Mr. George. Whatever one ventures, the people who are around you must share the same vision. For example, we are not in this for the money but we’re here to provide first-class service. Yes, it’s a business and we do have expenses. But, at the same time, our responsibility as we make it a priority, is to help, educate, encourage and better the health situation on our Island. I am proud to say that our team of doctors, specialists and health professionals are all on the same page with us.
So you’re not driven by money, you’re driven by a passion to improve the health of the nation. Is that correct?
Definitely, absolutely. My passion is – and will always be – to improve the health and well being of this nation. Keep in mind that my beautiful wife and our sons are included in “this nation’’, and so are our parents and extended families. My foremost responsibility is to make sure they are taken care of and are healthy. So, no! I’m not driven by money. We think of our people first and foremost. Anyone who has questions, come speak with us. Please stop by and see what we are about and our health professionals will be more than happy to work along with them.
Talk to me about service. How important is giving us a good service and what does your service consist of? When somebody comes in, what are the follow-ups? Talk to me about the service itself.
Service is out priority. Our staff coordinates the appointments, referrals and follow-ups with our doctors and patients. Walk-ins are welcome. We aim to make your experience as easy as possible. Most people are afraid, nervous and have anxiety when visiting a doctor; so, we have developed a calming and hospitable environment to make them feel comfortable as they wait, to make that experience as positive and comfortable as possible.
As part of our services, we offer a phlebotomy service. This service entails the drawing of blood samples from individuals and transporting the blood to the relevant labs to be tested. Tests are not done at the clinic but we eliminate the patient having to go to a lab to do blood tests. We also do the same for urine, stool and other tissue samples. We will make all arrangements for the lab and will let you know when the results are ready. We try to keep a very open communication between the clinic and the patient.
For the phlebotomy, you work along with the General Hospital?
Yes, that’s correct. We only provide a service and we work as the intermediary between the lab and the patient. After you meet with our doctor, we don’t want to send you again to sit in a long queue to get your blood tested. We take the blood for you, and then we shuttle it to the hospital. We try to use the hospital lab for testing, once the tests are available there.
In keeping the price as affordable as possible, we tend to use the hospital as our first resort.
How about accuracy?
Accuracy is up there with the General Hospital. In keeping abreast of their responsibilities and keeping patients’ interests at heart, we expect proper preparation, enabling the highest form of accuracy. Once the results are ready, we pick them up and let the patients know. It’s a service we’re providing so what you would actually pay is the service charge for us to get it done and the cost of the test itself.
Also, we would be providing rapid tests. Rapid tests just mean that you don’t have to wait on the lab to do the test. You get the results on the spot.
Using the strips?
Yes. We currently have drug tests, H.I.V. tests, Sexually Transmitted Diseases’ tests, Troponin tests, Helicobacter Pylori for the stomach for people who have ulcers, just to name a few. You don’t have to wait for it to get tested in a hospital. We pull the blood, put it in and look for the results like a pregnancy test.
What’s your message to the Grenadian people? We treat you as family, we care for you?
Most definitely – and much more. We are here to serve you, to educate you and encourage you as we work with you to ensure better health and wellness strategies. Yes, we are a family, one nation standing together in the war against illnesses and chronic diseases.
Stop by at FFLMS at Spiceland Mall, upper floor of Fit for Life Health Club. Speak to our doctors and specialists as they rally with you toward better health.