August 11, 2010

Healthcare System unveils plans for new Wellness Center

By Tina Foreman
Farmer Staff Writer
As the community of Watford City grows, residents of the community have found the need for more space, especially when it comes to the space available within the Healthy Hearts Wellness Center.
With a monthly average of more than 1,950 visits per month and a monthly high of 2,400 visits, space has become a problem for Wellness Center members.
“Despite the limited space and poor environmental conditions, membership has increased by 25 percent over the past two years,” says Dan Kelly, McKenzie County Healthcare Systems (MCHS) CEO. “Members are telling us that they are committed to the Wellness Center, but they need more from their fitness center, which is why MCHS has decided to build a new Wellness Center in Watford City.”
Previously, MCHS planned to renovate a building on Main Street for its new Wellness Center. When that project fell through, the community showed its support of the Wellness Center by coming together through an advisory committee to explore other options.
“The new Wellness Center is truly a collaborative project,” adds Kelly. “At this time we have an aggregate commitment of $2,525,000 for the project.”
Funding will come from the City of Watford City, McKenzie County, the MCHS Benefit Fund, the McKenzie County Roughrider Fund, and funds raised from the community.
The new Wellness Center will be located on property donated by MCHS at the Good Shepherd Home location off Fourth Avenue N.W. in Watford City. The preliminary plan for the new Wellness Center is a 12,200 total square foot facility with a 2,604 square foot physical therapy suite.
“With this new site, we will offer aquatics therapy and will expand our programming to offer choices for our senior citizens, youth and for those who are perhaps not as fit and desiring a lower impact program,” comments Kelly. “With outpatient physical therapy being co-located in this building, we can offer a higher level of care for our patients.”
The new Wellness Center will offer 24-hour access and include a large open gym, an aerobics classroom, a spinning bike area, a suspended running track, a therapy pool, a childcare playroom, outpatient physical therapy, a golf simulator and a beverage bar.
“We are excited about the new facility because in addition to benefiting our current members, it will also benefit the community,” states Kelly. “The Wellness Center attracts new employers and employees to the county. We are currently serving all areas of the county with our year-to-date average attendance at 1,957 visits per month.”
MCHS hopes to break ground and begin the building process of the new Wellness Center in May of 2011.