Western Healthcare makes room for gym, spa

Sunday, April 30, 2006

JACKSON, Calif. - Western Healthcare's new 21,000-square-foot location will feature a spa and a fitness center, strengthening the provider's association with other healthcare-related businesses.
While it may not qualify as a full-blown trend, more providers are building complexes and subletting space to other healthcare professionals to make themselves over as "medical destinations," said Jack Evans, an industry consultant.
"It's impossible to get space near physicians, especially, because medical centers are so pricey today," he said. "Since they can't go to the medical centers, they're bringing the physicians to them."
Western Healthcare Plaza will comprise 10,000 square feet for Western Healthcare, 4,000 square feet for Blue Rain Spa and 7,000 square feet for a yet-to-be named fitness center.
Western Healthcare already shares space with a spa at one of its current locations, and the relationship has proven to be a symbiotic one, with each business feeding the other. The fitness center takes things up a notch, said CEO Vince DeStigter.
"We've been experimenting with this for a long time," he said. "The whole concept behind it is a full wellness center. A lot of the elderly go to doctors and chiropractors, and they still don't get well. Eating right and exercising keeps them viable."
The spa, to be run by DeStigter's daughter, Aimee, will employ nutritionists, in addition to massage therapists. The fitness center will offer yoga and pilates classes and sell health supplements and vitamins.
Strengthening associations with other healthcare-related businesses provides HMEs with "a constant flow of people who are concerned about their health," Evans said.
"Even if they don't need anything, they know someone that needs something," he said.