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Beitostølen Healthsports Center

- A pioneer institution within rehabilitation
- Focus on the potential by means of adapted physical activities

The objectives of the center is, by means of physical, social and cultural activities, to help persons with mainly physical disabilities to achieve optimal functional independence and ability to be active and participating in daily life.
A stay at the center serves as one important of a total rehabilitation "chain", most common at the latter part of rehabilitation.
Main focus is on provision of a wide spectrum of activities, in spite of a disability, more than because of a disability - «focus on the potential». The activities offered are to some extent reflecting the Norwegian activity culture, with great emphasis on outdoor activities.

Historical background
Beitostølen Healthsports Center(BHC) was opened Nov 7. 1970. It was to a great extent founded upon ideas and personal experiences of the blind visionary Erling Stordahl(1923-1994). Erling Stordahl served as the director of the center from the beginning in 1970 and till 1994.The program concept was established in cooperation with national health authorities. The building of the center was made possible by means of a national fundraising campaign of the Lions organization.

BHC is located at Beitostølen in the community of Øystre Slidre in the region of Valdres, 830 meters above sea level. Fagernes is the nearest town.
You can travel to the center by bus, 5 times a day from Oslo to Fagernes. There is also other travel routs without going trough Oslo. Contact travel agencies for updated information.

Basic information about the operation of the center and facilities
The center is recognized as an official part of the national specialist health service system in physical medicine and rehabilitation.
There are also close relations to voluntary organizations within sports and environmental activities as part of the follow up strategies of the activities at the center.
The users of the center are admitted to the center by applications from a medical doctor, also with recommendations and information from other relevant professionals.

BHC has three main functions;

1.Delivery of Adapted Physical Activities(APA) to clients with mainly physical disabilities
A stay at the center, usually 4 weeks for adults and 2 ½ weeks for children, is paid for by the Norwegian Social Security System. This also includes guides, helpers or parents that are needed for successful participation in the programs. The short term stay at the center is one part of a rehabilitation process - one link in a "rehabilitation chain".

2.Research and developmental activities  
Encompasses cross professional R&D done by staff in cooperation with external scientific professionals. The purpose is to document existing experiences and develop new knowledge in the field of rehabilitation where APA is used to achieve personal rehabilitation goals.                                                                                                                   

3.Education and information
Encompasses courses and educational programs for APA-students and health service personnel at all educational levels. The center receives national as well as foreign students for practice at the center. 
In cooperation with Norwegian School of Sports Sciences(NSS) BHC is hosting parts of formal studies in APA at bachelor, master and doctoral level. Such a role also encompasses hosting a number of foreign students from the Erasmus Mundus Master in APA(EMMAPA)
The center has a capacity of 60 residential clients at a time. During a year, about 700 clients, children and adults in the age range from 5-70+ with different disabilities, are staying at the center.
There are a good number of students of different relevant professions in practice as part of education at all times.

The center has 200 acres of land at its disposal.
Besides living facilities, BHC consists of several buildings including a large sports hall, a gymnasium, a therapy pool and a swimming pool, a fitness training room, testing laboratories, indoor riding hall, horse stable,and rooms for different hobby activities. There is a sports stadium, a lake for water sports and fishing, paths in the nature, campfires, cabins, varied XC-tracks and an alpine ski hill. 


Staff and applications at BHC
There is a balance in staff between professionals with health education and pedagogical education.
In addition to the administrative staff (Director, chief of staff, IT- and  and office services), the personnel  is divided into three major divisions:

Clinical services' division
- medical doctors, nurses, social worker, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, horseback riding therapists/instructors, APA specialists, environmental staff,  teachers, students in APA and other
  relevant field.

Division of Research and Education
researchers and students at MD and PhD level.

Division of supportive services
- reception, maintenance, kitchen

The clinical workers are divided into two major cross professional rehabilitation teams; one for adults and one for children. 

The daily practical activity sessions are organized mainly by the APA specialists and physiotherapists in close cooperation. There is also environmental activity staff in evenings and weekends.
The programs are planned in close cooperation with the users' themselves, and organized and monitored of the total professional staff.

About Healthsports
Healthsports are defined as physical activities designed to improve physical abilities and to foster higher levels of mental, physical and spiritual well-being. The activities at the center are used in preventive health care and in rehabilitation of people with chronic or temporary disabilities.
The term "health sports" is a national variant of the international term Adapted Physical Activity (APA). 

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