CLARIFICATION: Childcare services are provided for clients/patients who are receiving services at the Health & Wellness Center or using the fitness center. However, children cannot be left at the center for childcare once the parent leaves the facility.
After nearly a year and a half under construction, Virtua peeled back the curtain on its paradigm-shifting Health & Wellness Center in Moorestown Thursday night.
Virtua broke ground on the $96 million project in June 2011. The facility will offer an array of outpatient services, including a fully stocked fitness center with three swimming pools, a spa, urgent care and primary care, physical therapy, cardiology and much more. The fitness center opens on Monday, with other services opening throughout the month.
CEO Richard Miller said healthcare is moving toward a more proactive, outpatient-focused model, and the Health & Wellness Center is intended to reflect that.
“We’re changing our focus a little bit from being a sick care provider to, how do we keep the community well?” Miller said during a sneak preview event Thursday. “Because chronic disease is everywhere, and we’re finding that the economics down the road aren’t going to support totally a chronic disease model. So we need to change our focus to keeping people well, keeping them fit, making sure we’re doing health assessments, and caring for them in this kind of environment.”
The fitness center, one of the main features of the new facility, is a major part of that focus. The center will be open to the general public, as well as patients undergoing physical therapy or cardiac rehabilitation, for example.
Miller explained how it works: Patients who have suffered a heart attack, say, will be assigned a nurse, who will monitor their progress. After they’ve undergone a certain amount of cardiac rehabilitation, they’ll “graduate” to the fitness floor, where they’ll exercise alongside everyone else.
“So the goal is, to take the community that’s rehabbing—whether it’s physical therapy, or a heart program therapy—and mix them in with the average community member,” he said. “The goal is to get the community in here because we want them to be well, we want them to be fit. So I don’t want to see them in my emergency room because of a blood pressure issue.”
Beyond the obvious health benefits of the facility, Miller alluded to the tangential economic windfall that awaits Moorestown and the surrounding community.
The center will accommodate an estimated 300 permanent employees—230 of those being new jobs. Miller said Virtua has already established a partnership with Wegmans, which is right across the road, to provide food to-go at the facility, and is working with Lockheed Martin on corporate membership opportunities for its employees.
“The other thing I think economically you’ll see is people will come here and then go shopping,” Miller said. “Because they can work out, drop their kids off (at the Kidz in Motion on-site childcare facility), let their kids stay here, go to the retailers and then come back … It’s going to be an economic boon to the community.”
Assemblyman Troy Singleton remarked that Virtua represents the very definition of a good corporate neighbor.
"When we talk about being a good corporate citizen and what that means, you don't need to look it up in a dictionary," he said. "You just come to Virtua."
This is Virtua’s third Health & Wellness Center. The health system previously opened two in Voorhees and Washington Township.
Other stats and information about the Moorestown Health & Wellness Center:
- Created 300 construction jobs
- Features smart HVAC controls with off-hours modes to decrease HVAC loads
- Motion-sensor lighting controls in certain areas
- Plantings that do not require mechanical irrigation