Rance Bryant, Director, Riverside Wellness and Fitness Centers

“Riverside is invested in the community and I want to continue that in meaningful ways.”

Riverside is pleased to announce it has named Rance Bryant Director of the health system’s Wellness and Fitness Centers located on the Middle Peninsula in Gloucester and on the Peninsula in Newport News.

An Arkansas native, Bryant officially joined the Riverside team in April 2019.

“I have been in Arkansas my whole life and never left,” Bryant said. “When the opportunity to come to the Riverside team came open, and I looked into the community and the health system, we were willing to move. Everyone here has that southern hospitality I know and love. When you’ve been somewhere for 44 years, you want to go somewhere you will feel welcome. I feel welcome.”

Bryant, who attended Arkansas State University and earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in exercise physiology, brings nearly two decades of experience to Riverside, with the last 10 years spent developing wellness and fitness programming for a large health system.

Before joining Riverside, Bryant worked at St. Bernards Medical Center, Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the Conway Regional Medical Center as the Director of the Health and Fitness Center, notably one of the largest fitness centers in the mid-south.

Part of the reason Bryant was attracted to the Riverside team was because of its history and legacy of integrating wellness and fitness centers into a medical model.

“Riverside took a risk 30 years ago doing that,” Bryant said. “Back then, no one was putting wellness and fitness centers in health systems. Riverside was among the few health systems across the nation that embraced that integration first.”

Runner on Indoor Track at Riverside Wellness Center

Between 2000 and 2015, Bryant said, other health systems caught on and “health care has really put an emphasis on that clinical integration.”

Continuing to build on the clinical integration will be Bryant’s focus as he believes strongly that it “improves the health of the overall community.”

“Members come to the centers for all kinds of concerns – whether they want to lose weight, stay healthy, because they have diabetes, are obese, have cancer,” Bryant said. “They are trying to beat something and are looking for fitness and overall wellness to help with those long-term clinical outcomes.”

Bryant plans to grow the community focus of both centers in Gloucester and Newport News.

“We want to be community focused,” Bryant said. “We are here for everyone. Relationships are everything and I’m looking forward to building those relationships with individuals in the community, our members, companies who want to bring corporate wellness to their employees, and physicians.”

Being community focused, Bryant said, also involves remaining focused on customer service.

“We want to provide the best customer service, keep the facility as clean as it can be, and always maintain keeping our trainers, teachers and dieticians certified at the highest level,” Bryant said. “That’s the difference with Riverside.”

Lifeguard at Riverside Wellness Center Pool

Long-term, Bryant hopes to create an Advisory Board made up of people in the community, who are also members, to foster ongoing dialogue with Riverside.

“I really want to hit home getting into the schools in our community, too, whether it’s walk-run programs or getting in and helping teach students about gardening and healthy eating,” Bryant said. “Riverside is invested in the community and I want to continue that in meaningful ways.”

To learn more about the Riverside Wellness and Fitness Centers, visit riversideonline.com/rwfc.

Located in the heart of Denbigh in Newport News at 12650 Jefferson Avenue, the 70,000-square-foot Peninsula facility offers a variety of cardiovascular and strength training equipment, free weights, group exercise classes, tennis courts, an indoor pool and more.

The 35,000-square-foot Middle Peninsula facility is located on the campus of Riverside Walter Reed Hospital at 7516 Hospital Drive in Gloucester, featuring cardiovascular and strength training equipment, free weights, group exercise classes, an indoor pool and more.

Published: May 28, 2019