Sara Hodson is the spirit and passion behind LIVE WELL. Cashing in her pension to launch LIVE WELL on the basis of nothing more than an idea, she quickly turned one location into three in just three short years.
But Sara’s vision was bigger. She wanted to build a national brand of LIVE WELL clinics across the country to help Canadians live longer, healthier lives. Sara has been on a mission since opening her first location and is leading a movement: Exercise is Medicine.
In 2013, LIVE WELL opened its second location in Kerrisdale, an area of Vancouver. It just so happened that the space was right next door to the headquarters of Nurse Next Door, one of the most successful private consumer health care brands in Canada.
One day, Nurse Next Door co-founder John DeHart met a few LIVE WELL members in the elevator when he was going up to his office. Once they got to talking, he found a group of raving customers, similar to his loyal clients at Nurse Next Door. Intrigued, he met Sara and immediately found an entrepreneur willing to listen and learn from all of the mistakes he had made in building Nurse Next Door. Eventually, John became Sara’s mentor, and when Nurse Next Door was approaching its 100th location, John handed the CEO reins over to his leadership team. He jumped headfirst into the “Exercise is Medicine” movement, and he and his wife Gayla Swihart DeHart decided to partner with Sara to take LIVE WELL to the next level.
It was a match made in heaven. Sara brings the spirit and expertise surrounding “Exercise is Medicine.” John brings the franchising and private health care experience. Gayla brings an executive coaching and business consulting background to the table. Together, Sara, John, and Gayla make up a dream team of passionately driven and engaged entrepreneurs who want to change the world. Rounding out our team is Dr. Ali Zentner, internal medicine specialist, who is an expert physician in obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular risk reduction. Dr. Zentner is LIVE WELL’S medical director.
Now, the team is setting out to build the next great health care brand in Canada. We have chosen to franchise because we love franchising, and we want to find passionate and engaged people who know their communities well, just like John did at Nurse Next Door.
There are now over 20 LIVE WELL locations in Canada and counting!