The P.H.A.T. Institute was developed as a Community Educational Project through the work of two pioneers in the Health and Fitness industry - Jim Simpson and Laurie Dichiara. Mr. Simpson and Ms. Dichiara recognized the desperate need to educate communities about personal health, individual fitness and the social, economic, emotional and environmental factors which negatively impact communities in their desire to live fuller, happier lives.
Known as the "Rx-ercise Guy", Mr. Simpson is a certified Health and Fitness Professional with a Master of Public Health degrees in Behavioral Science, Health Promotion, and Health Education. He also holds Bachelor's degrees in both Exercise Science and in Community Health Programming. He is an internationally recognized lecturer in the development of health and wellness and holds a National certification as a Health Education Specialist (CHES). His background includes active membership in organizations including the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Physical Activity Society (NPAS), Medical Fitness Association (MFA), and American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). Jim is a council board member of the Active Lifestyle & Wellness Association of Ghana (ALWAG) and the African Physical Activity Network (AFPAN). He was the North Eastern Regional Chair for the Medical Fitness Association from 2018-2020 and worked to enhance the integration of the medical and health communities. Mr. Simpson has been a contributing lecturer at the Narh-Bita College for Exercise Studies in Ghana and has lectured on the topics of Public Health, Fitness motivational theory, Community Health development programs, exercise as a prescriptive asset and high-intensity interval fitness training. He has designed individual and community programs using science-based methods of behavior modification and prescriptive exercise techniques. He frequently offers lectures on the subjects of Health, Fitness, and Wellness for organizations and communities.
Laurie is living proof that Exercise is Medicine. At age 24, she was a competitive power-lifter and personal trainer. However, by 2006, at the age of 46, Laurie was morbidly obese and suffered from high blood pressure, severe asthma, hip, knee and back problems, chronic pneumonia, and borderline diabetes. In October 2006, Laurie vowed to regain her commitment to wellness and, through her own program of nutrition and exercise over the course of eleven months, she lost 100 pounds. Now, at the age of 60, her prior medical conditions no longer exist. She has maintained her fitness and rediscovered her passion for helping others do the same. Ms. Dichiara is a certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist, with specialty certifications in group exercise, kickboxing, Bootcamp, Zumba and TRX. Laurie has worked and lectured internationally at Ghana's International "Exercise is Medicine" conference. She is an active board member of the Active Lifestyle and Wellness Association of Ghana (ALWAG) and the African Fitness and Physical Activity Network (AFPAN). She has been a member of ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America), NETA (National Exercise Trainers Association), IFA (International Fitness Association), IDEA Health and Fitness Association and the National Physical Activity Society (NPAS).
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