When you picture a visit to the hospital, you may envision doctors, long hallways, MRIs, and IVs. Many people wouldn’t picture treadmills, massage therapy, hand weights, acupuncture, tai chi and yoga classes. It doesn’t sound like a typical hospital environment, but this new design is a reality for patients across the state looking to improve their health in a medically supervised setting.
The new centers are called Healthy Lifestyle Centers, and they can be found within several KentuckyOne Health hospitals and facilities, including Medical Center Jewish Northeast, Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital, and the KentuckyOne Health Medical Plaza II in Louisville, and Saint Joseph Hospital in Lexington.
“It’s an important transition that our health system is making, from focusing on sick care and moving to well care and addressing underlying causes of poor health instead of just fixing the symptoms,” said Alice Bridges, vice president, Healthy Communities, KentuckyOne Health.
Within the Healthy Lifestyle Centers is cardio equipment, artwork, and patient consultation areas. There is also personal health coaching for people coping with diabetes, pain, cancer, obesity, heart disease and more. The centers are giving patients a new kind of hospital experience, in a stress-free environment.
Dale Curth, senior partner of architectural firm Arrasmith, Judd, Rapp, Chovan, Inc., says the firm was hired to complete the renovations and construction on three of the Healthy Lifestyle Centers. He says from the planning stages until completion, renovations at each facility varied: Medical Center Jewish Northeast took eight months, KentuckyOne Medical Plaza II took 10 months, and Saint Joseph Hospital took four months. Curth says he personally enjoyed the projects, knowing the experience that patients will have within the facilities.
“KentuckyOne is wanting to express their standing in the healthcare environment and they want to be at the top, so there’s always the desire to do something of high quality. The hope is that it will be more attractive to patients,” said Curth.
Curth and his team’s design have made the centers a positive, uplifting environment, noted Bridges.
“From an architectural standpoint, I think the way it has been designed, and the way it’s decorated, the color and artwork, the whole idea was to create a healthful and healing environment that encourages a positive outlook and supports the whole goal of wellness. I think Dale and his team achieved that with the design and execution of the facilities,” said Bridges.
KentuckyOne Health opened its first Healthy Lifestyle Center in 2014. Since then, the program has continued to grow, with 1,677 patients taking part in the programs offered so far. The centers provide medically supervised exercise, nutrition counseling, stress management and more to help people get and stay healthy.
“The goal is to be able to educate a client, so if they are recovering from a heart attack, they can not only learn about exercise, but also diet, medications, acupuncture, how to be healthier and how to integrate this into your everyday life,” said Curth.
Bridges says KentuckyOne hopes to expand the Healthy Lifestyle Centers to more facilities, giving more patients access to a healing environment and healthier lifestyle in the future.
“The fact that we have medical personnel, registered nurses, dieticians, exercise physiologists, it’s so comforting that we’re treating it like a medical prescription to get people on the road to good health,” said Bridges. “It’s a gateway to good health for people who may not otherwise have that opportunity.”
Establishment of the Healthy Lifestyle Centers was made possible by the Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation.