Mount Carmel West readying free medical library, wellness center for Franklinton|
Carrie Ghose, Staff reporte
Mount Carmel West Hospital soon will invite neighbors to a new resource center on its campus that aims to keep them out of the Columbus hospital.
Mount Carmel Health System brought in $512,000 from a weekend fundraiser to put toward $650,000 in startup costs for its Community Health Resource Center planned for an office building at 777 W. State St. near the hospital. The Columbus-based Roman Catholic hospital system will make up the rest and pay for operating costs with philanthropy, grants and operating dollars.
The center should open this summer after about four months of renovation and will include a health library, yoga and fitness room, and meeting and classroom space, said Joyce Brand, the system’s service line administrator for women’s health.
Brand acknowledged that a community center with mostly free services doesn’t sound like a typical hospital service.
“The whole paradigm of health care is beginning to shift more toward wellness, prevention and management of chronic disease,” she said. “This is what we should have been doing all along.”
Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center last year signed on to run an outpatient and rehab clinic at a planned wellness and fitness facility to be owned by the city of New Albany.
The centerpiece of the Mount Carmel center be a consumer health library replacing a smaller library tucked inside the hospital, Brand said. Mount Carmel is hiring a librarian trained to help visitors find genuine medical information.
Some services, such as dietitian consultations, will charge fees based on ability to pay, and Brand noted insurers are starting to reimburse for wellness and prevention services. The center will consolidate many educational programs aimed at the low-income Franklinton neighborhood, including financial counseling, diabetes management and breast-feeding support. Participants would get free tokens for the nearby parking garage, but Brand said hopes are that many residents would walk.
A demonstration kitchen with typical home appliances will be used for cooking classes that feature vegetables and whole grains.
“We aren’t setting it up like Iron Chef or anything,” Brand said.