Free health and fitness program at TGH focuses on unique needs of veterans

Air Force veteran Jeff Barber works on staying in shape and he wants to up his game. He's getting some personal training from fitness specialist Fernando Hurtado

"I was hoping to fix some bad habits that I have with working out and just gain some knowledge," said Barber.

"He came in wanting to fix some of his technique when he's been working out," Hurtado shared.

The best part is that these personal training sessions are free. Barber is participating in the Home Base Warrior Health and Fitness program offered by Tampa General Hospital 

"What we do is we reach out to veterans and those who want to participate we provide 90 days of free exercise, training, nutrition and coaching and overall wellness support," explained Kim Christine, administrator of community and corporate wellness for Tampa General Hospital..

"I never had personal training before, so gaining some knowledge on how to do certain exercises that I didn't know about and also the nutrition part," commented Barber.

It's tailored to the participants not just as individuals but also as veterans.

"Veterans obviously have some different needs," stated Christine. "They've been overseas, they've been at war and they come back and oftentimes they are out of the regimen that they're used to. So we really work with them to get back into that structured regimen of working out and eating healthy."

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"Whatever their needs are. So Jeff's needs are going to be different than another Home Base veteran that comes in," said Hurtado.

And it's not just about physical health, but emotional well-being.

"We connect them together in what you might call a support group kind of atmosphere. The veterans really have unique needs in that way and it really helps them to be with people who understand what they're going through and have the same needs as them," said Christine.

"It's good to even just talk to the personal trainers. That's kind of a secondary thing I think," commented Barber.

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It's a way of saying thank you to those who served. 

"It's an opportunity to give back to veterans who have done so much for us," shared Hurtado. 

"We feel very grateful to be a part of it. It's a fabulous service to our veterans here and as an organization, Tampa General really wants to give back to that population," said Christine.

"I encourage all veterans to get down here," stated Barber.

Tampa General Hospital partnered with Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and the Massachusetts General Hospital program.

LINK: For more information about the Home Base Warrior Health and Fitness program, visit


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