Construction Begins on Center for Healthy Living

  • Center for Healthy Living

September 19, 2013 11:35 a.m.

Work has begun on the Sarah Bush Lincoln campus for the Center for Healthy Living, a wellness facility for SBL employees and people with chronic health issues.

The Center will be adjoined to the east side of Prairie Pavilion 2, have a separate entrance, and will span two stories and 23,160 square feet.

The first floor will feature a wide variety of fitness equipment and a group exercise room. The second floor is designed with an overhead walking track and will house the medical Weight Management Program, Tobacco Cessation Program and Family Practice office of Bernie Ranchero, MD, the Center’s medical director. Health coaches will be available to help individuals stay on track and attain their goals.

As the community’s healthcare organization, Sarah Bush Lincoln has been working with its employees to help them improve their health by lowering their body mass indexes, which could help them decrease medications such as those used to lower cholesterol and blood pressure and maintain appropriate levels of blood sugar. Additionally, employees have been encouraged to stop tobacco use. Ultimately, a higher level of good health may reduce or curtail health insurance premiums and improve their quality of life.

By physician referral, the Center will also be open to people with chronic health issues, such as diabetes, obesity, pulmonary disease, depression and cancer-related diseases. They may use the services and facilities for up to 120 days, and then will be transitioned to community fitness centers thereafter.

Dr. Ranchero said, “We have been working with the Mattoon Area Family YMCA and Eastern Illinois University in the development of the Center with the goal to transition patients to their programs. Participants will have individual goals, and health coaches will help them achieve their health goals.

The project was a collaborative planning effort between Sarah Bush Lincoln, Mattoon Area Family YMCA and EIU Adult Fitness. The Center will cost $6 million to build and equip, and construction is expected to take a year.

Dr. Ranchero explained that as people with chronic issues begin using the facility, changing their health habits and learning more about their particular disease process, they will stay healthier and avoid hospitalizations. “Our goal is to keep people healthy and out of the hospital. Through the center, we will work with people with chronic health issues to uncover the reasons for recurrent bouts of the same illnesses and help them change behaviors to live fuller lives,” Dr. Ranchero said.

For more information about the Center for Healthy Living, call Sarah Bush Lincoln Development at 258-2511.

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