CentraCare Health is Building a Community-Driven Wellness Center in Todd County

29 Nov 2018

As the region’s premier healthcare provider, CentraCare Health (CCH) is at the forefront of innovation and finding ways to increase access to healthcare, while improving the long-term wellness of the entire community. One way they are doing so is through the creation of a community-driven wellness center in Todd County. The wellness center is in response to requests made by community members looking for an opportunity to improve their overall wellbeing. “The community voiced a clear desire to include a wellness center. We listened” stated Dan Swenson, CentraCare Health - Long Prairie Administrator.

The resulting Regional Community Well-Being Center is a local collaboration project, with many partner organizations. This project is truly being championed by community members desiring access to a nearby facility where they can be active, socialize and interact with health care providers.  The focus of CCH, and everyone involved, is to create a healthy rural community with special attention on Todd County’s aging population, low income individuals and those with disabilities, mental health and chronic health conditions.

The Regional Community Well-Being Center in Todd County

To-date, over $3.9 Million has been secured through philanthropy and grants to make the $4.5 million Regional Community Well-Being Center project a reality.  CCH has contributed $1.3 million and over $2.7 million has been committed to this project from community members, CCH employees, local businesses, civic organizations, foundations and grants.  Additionally, a portion of the funding was designated through the State of Minnesota’s 2018 Bonding Bill. Fundraising to secure the remaining gap to goal funding will continue through the construction phase.  

CCH is currently constructing the Center as part of the new CentraCare Health – Long Prairie medical campus. This 12,000-square-foot facility, scheduled to open in the Spring of 2019, will be adjacent to the hospital and provide community members with classes, a support system, activities, and exercise space – all focused on improving access to the tools and resources necessary to improve wellness.

The Center is based on the notion that wellness is not simply an absence of illness. Instead, true wellness involves people reaching their potential, embracing their capabilities, having energy to do the things they love, connecting with others, and feeling healthy emotionally and mentally, as well as physically.

CCH-LP has adopted a goal to provide programs, services and amenities designed to support well-being using the National Wellness Institute’s Six Dimensions of Wellness model: occupational, physical, social, intellectual, spiritual and emotional. From the Center, they will offer more preventive services and holistic wellness opportunities for the region. The amenities in the Well-Being Center include a shared-use community/outpatient physical therapy gym; warm-water therapy pool; locker rooms and showers; and multi-use space for fitness classes, education, support groups and additional rehabilitation services.

To support this wellness initiative, community partners, like the University of Minnesota Extension Office and the Todd County Development Corporation, are working alongside CCH to assist in fundraising or by providing direct services to community members.

The Center’s Impact

The Regional Community Well-Being Center will serve 35,000 people in Todd County once it is fully operational. Residents of all ages may participate in available programs, with the goal of promoting community bonding across cultures and ages.

From a healthcare perspective, focusing on wellness has additional benefits – both for CCH and for the community. As healthcare providers desiring to improve the lives of their patients, CCH physicians know that as Todd County residents improve their overall wellness, the likelihood of them being diagnosed with a preventable chronic health condition will decrease. This is good for everyone in the community.

The Center will also have an economic impact on Todd County. In addition to creating jobs, the center is an attractive amenity that can be used by companies looking to attract workers to the area. Plus, there is a clear correlation between good health and workplace productivity, giving businesses a clear incentive to support local wellness programs and the Center.

CentraCare Health Serves Our Community

As a not-for-profit health care system, CCH serves over 800,000 people in central Minnesota and sees 15,000 unique patients each year in Todd County. They operate an extensive network of clinics, hospitals, specialty services and senior care facilities. Their mission is to serve all who seek care with compassion, dignity and respect, while seeking to enhance individual and community health. Their significant investment into the creation and sustainability of a new wellness center stems from their mission to improve the health of the entire community, but it is only one of their wellness initiatives.

In 2014, CCH-LP began an exciting journey to advance health and well-being efforts throughout its regional, rural service area to address and improve the quality of life for its residents. CCH-LP initiated collaboration with community members, regional organizations, area businesses and foundations to take the lead and help the nearly 24,000 residents it serves in Todd County.  CCH-LP also initiated policy, system and environment (PSE) change strategies in schools and in the community to modify the environment to make healthy choices practical and available to all community members. These efforts included: Safe Routes to School, Universal Breakfast, farmers market programming, and prescription food shares.

For information about giving opportunities to support this project or to have questions answered about the Regional Community Well-Being Center, please contact Nicole Bjerke at BjerkeN@CentraCare.com or at 320-732-7337.  Additional information and online giving is available at www.CentraCare.com/WellnessWins .