Shriners Hospital Graduates Its First Class of BFit Program Participants

BFit Program at Shriners Hospitals for Children-Northern California

They cycled. They danced. They stretched, and they ran. Most of all, they had fun getting fit.

Twenty patients of Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California spent eight Thursday evenings this summer participating in the BFit Exercise Program.  On Thursday, August 25, these very same kids were draped with medals as the hospital honored its first BFit graduating class during a ceremony in the hospital auditorium.

Dr. Jenny Boakes, orthopaedic surgeon, and rehabilitation manager Alice-Marie Laverdiere kicked off the celebration with a skit on bicycle safety followed by a formal presentation of certificates and medals to the BFit all-stars by Dr. Jon R. Davids, assistant chief of orthopaedics and medical director of the hospital’s Motion Analysis Lab.

Some BFit participants pedaled their cycles a few laps around the hospital’s front parking circle as they celebrated the last day of the program.  The graduation celebration was topped off with prize presentations and cake for all attendees —proud parents, doctors, nurses, physical therapists, hospital staff and community volunteers included.

The Bfit program was organized by the Shriners Hospital rehabilitation team in partnership with the Motion Analysis Lab. Patients 5 – 18 years old with a desire to improve their fitness and function were invited to participate. All activities took place at the hospital.

“BFit has been an amazing time,” said Laverdiere, who worked with hospital colleagues to organize the BFit program for patients with a desire to improve their fitness and function.“It has encouraged kids to set their own goals and then work to achieve those goals. Giving patients the opportunity to participate in group exercise with staff and friends has made BFit a success,” she added.

Hospital doctors, nurses and staff joined community volunteers in putting energy and enthusiasm into action during the Thursday evening BFit sessions. The program was supported by donations from Huei Young, who opened her Davis home and garden for tours to benefit the cerebral palsy program at Shriners Hospital.  Trained specialists from AmTryke provided participants with a free fitting for an adaptive tryke. The program also was supported by contributions from Wells Fargo and PG&E.

“So many of our patients are determined to get out in the community and participate in adaptive and recreational sports,” said Laverdiere. “BFit gave them the extra boost they need to feel confident in their endeavors. We hope some of our BFit graduates are now prepared to participate in the Epic Challenge, a division of the Eppie’s Kids Duathalon organized for children with disabilities that will take place in October.”

Ultimately, BFit success was measured in smiles.

“To see kids smile as they sweat tells the story,” said Laverdiere. “Exercise can be fun.”


Shriners Hospitals for Children is devoted to transforming the lives of children through excellence in treatment, teaching and research.  Located at 2425 Stockton Boulevard in Sacramento, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California provides care to children with orthopaedic conditions, spinal cord injuries, burns, cleft lip, scars from any cause and other complex surgical needs. There are no barriers to care as admission is based on age and diagnosis.   Care is provided regardless of the family’s ability to pay. For further information call (916) 453-2000 or go online to


Media Contact:  Catherine Curran | Public Relations (916) 453-2218 |

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