Everyone knows Scott Givens, manager of HealthPoint Fitness in Jackson, as a wellness and fitness expert and SoutheastHEALTH advocate. But Scott is also known in the community as a darn-good impersonator of Superman, Richard Simmons, Elvis, Buddy the Elf and a host of other celebrity characters. The large supply of costumes and props he has collected over the years confirms his love of theatrics.
“I started work at SoutheastHEALTH in 1991 right after college graduation,” explains Scott. “I joined Debbie Leoni and Ed Slaughter at the Wellness Outreach Center in Jackson. The center was the Hospital’s inaugural effort in providing corporate wellness programs to local businesses.”
The Outreach Center hosted smoking cessation classes for the community and he was asked to wear a “Mr. Butts” costume to engage the audience and lend a little levity to a serious topic. Scott took on the role with gusto and his career as Southeast’s go-to entertainer/health and wellness educator was born.
As Scott’s reputation grew, he started receiving invitations to participate in events planned by departments throughout the hospital—Human Resources, Nursing, Hospice and Foundation to name just a few. He appeared as Richard Simmons at fitness events, as Elvis Presley at the SoutheastHEALTH Foundation’s Showcase event at the ShowMe Center and even as Buddy the Elf and Santa Claus for the kids each Christmas. “One of my personal favorites is Maxine,” says Scott. “I was looking for a good character to be at a Senior Fun Fest and I thought of Maxine. It was perfect. I do draw the line at some costume requests, though,” laughs Scott…”I refuse to be Mr. Urine or a Colon Polyp.”
When Scott is in character, he is never afraid to draw members of the audience on stage. “I scan the crowd to gage who will be a willing participant,” he noted. “It’s always fun to interact with people…and the crowd loves it.” Scott also remembers a time when he invited a hospital executive to the stage. “After the event, he approached me and noted that he hoped he would never get asked to do that again. I got the message loud and clear,” Scott chuckled.
An invitation Scott never turns down is to be part of planning and hosting We Can Weekend, an annual 3-day getaway for cancer patients and their families. “Of the many special events I have worked, We Can Weekend holds a special place for me,” he said. “Helping those families have fun and forget their worries for a few days is a privilege.”
Over the years, Scott has shared his talents, both in and out of costume, throughout the community. The Heart Association, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, the United Way, local schools, Boy Scouts and other organizations have profited from his assistance and expertise. He also sits on the board of the Jackson Chamber of Commerce and teaches CPR classes in addition to managing HealthPoint Fitness-Jackson. “I always encourage our entire staff at HealthPoint to be involved in a cause that interests them. It’s important to share our talents and make life better in our community.
“Scott is a wellness expert who combines healthcare knowledge with his knack for show business,” says Jack Hembree, Director of HealthPoint Fitness. “He tops it all off with a bit of fun and laughter while delivering a message that encourages everyone to pursue a healthier lifestyle! We are blessed he is part of our team.”