After extensive renovations, Get REAL & HEEL will be celebrating with a grand reopening party on June 03, 2022, to officially launch the reopening of the facility to in-person exercise training. If that’s not enough, Get REAL and HEEL has also officially added its first full-time staff member and program coordinator, Gabrielle Brennan (Gabby). Gabby was formerly with UNC Cardiac Rehab, where she was responsible for implementing exercise programs for cardiac patients. She was also the Director of the LiveFit Cancer Exercise Program at the UNC Meadowmont Wellness Center. Gabby will be responsible for implementing in-person and remote programs and helping with recruitment and volunteers in her current role. She has a master’s degree in Cancer Care from St. Francis University and holds certifications as an ASCM clinical exercise physiologist and certified cancer exercise trainer.
Get REAL & HEEL was co-founded in 2006 under the direction of Claudio Battaglini, PhD, FACSM, and Diane Groff, Ed.D, LRT/ CTRS. Originally established as an after-breast cancer care exercise and recreational therapy program, Get REAL & HEEL has served over 2,000 patients based near the University of North Carolina campus outdoor education center. Now, the program will continue to expand, offering programming to include all diagnoses and stages.
Gabby joins us for a brief interview on her new role, the new renovations, and what visitors can expect when visiting the Get REAL & HEEL facility.
What convinced you that this was the right position for you?
I have longed to work in the exercise oncology field since 2018 when I graduated from Saint Francis University with such a unique and specialized degree. I am excited about the numerous opportunities that this position holds to offer me to grow as a clinician, program coordinator, community member, and friend. I love that I will get to interact personally with each participant in the program. I will also have the time to maximize patient wellness through program structuring and community access expansion.
What’s new at Get REAL & HEEL?
Get REAL & HEEL’s new renovations to include a larger workout space inside the facility, some new exercise equipment, newly renovated locker rooms, and access to live virtual classes and class recordings! We have new hours for our program: Monday and Friday 7 am- 2 pm and Wednesday 12 pm-6 pm. We will also be offering yoga in our facility as part of the Comprehensive Cancer Support Program’s Yoga Program.
Who is allowed to use the facilities at Get REAL & HEEL?
Get REAL & HEEL is offered free of charge to all NC Cancer Center patients age 15 and up regardless of stage or diagnosis. The treating physician’s clearance is required, and clinicians can directly refer patients to our program by using the Oncology Exercise Order in Epic or via email at email@example.com.
What kinds of amenities are available?
Amenities include a 12-week individualized exercise program, access to exercise equipment in a COVID-safe environment, men’s and women’s locker rooms with showers, access to live and virtual exercise classes, and access to a great community!
How can interested people contact you if they have questions?
Our program is most accessible via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Gabrielle_Brennan@med.unc.edu. Potential participants and clinicians can send an email to either of those addresses. We can also be contacted by phone at 919-962-1222.
Was there any new technology included? If yes, what?
We are in the process of installing a new video conferencing system to support our remote program! Access to our in-person classes will be able to be streamed live if a participant cannot make it in for the day, so they can still exercise from home.
What can people expect when they visit Get REAL & HEEL?
I can only hope for the Get REAL & HEEL experience to leave people instantly feeling a sense of inclusion in a trusted, judgment-free place. Leaving the program, I hope for people to have gained a new community they can refer to, just like family! I long for participants to feel a sense of confidence moving forward with a strong understanding of exercise and how they can successfully implement exercise and wellness into their daily lives.
Are there any scheduled events for this month?
June 03, 2022, is the grand reopening of Get REAL & HEEL. We will be having food and live music. We are also having open hours from 8 am-5 pm May 31- to June 3- clinicians, prospective participants, and family members are welcome to stop by and see what we are all about!
Where is Get REAL & HEEL located?
Get REAL & HEEL is located at the physical address of:
410A Country Club Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27514. Follow signs for the Outdoor Education Center.
Is there ample parking?
There are designated free spots for Get REAL & HEEL participants at the facility.
What is your benchmark for success?
Our benchmark of success is being able to provide access to our quality services to anyone affected by cancer from the point of diagnosis in order to maintain overall wellness during treatments and continue to improve wellness post-treatment.
Are there other ways to get involved?
Yes! Volunteering- We are always happy to accept vaccinated volunteers who would like to help or give back to the community through helping at our in-person facility. Must be over 18 years old. We can offer credit towards internship programs or community service. Spreading the word- Please feel free to share our program and all the great resources that we have with your friends and family members. You are welcome to follow us on Facebook for all the latest updates. Feel free to reach out to either Carly or Gabby for more information. The address and our emails are below:
Gabrielle Brennan, MS, ACSM- CEP, CET
UNC Get Real and Heel Program
CB# 3433 Country Club Road- University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
p (919) 962-1222
Carly Bailey, MA, ACSM-CEP
Program Director of Physical Activity and Integrative Oncology
National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach
Comprehensive Cancer Support Program
UNC-Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
Thank you, Gabby, for your time, and congratulations on your new role!