Lake Health project will provide customized wellness options for employers

Companies struggling to develop effective wellness plans for employees will soon have a partner in the effort. Lake Health’s Mentor Wellness Campus is scheduled to open in 2018 at the corner of Market Street and Munson Road in Mentor.

The new facility will merge traditional medical and fitness opportunities with on-site, clinically supervised wellness programs aimed at improving overall health.

“Employers have struggled with how to approach wellness,” says Joe Popely, executive director for ambulatory centers at Lake Health. “The model has been to offer programs or screenings that approach every single person in the same fashion, presumably because it was more efficient to do it this way. But this particular opportunity will allow the employer to offer a wellness program that is individualized for each employee that decides to participate. It’s a much better return on investment.”

The Mentor Wellness Campus will include a fitness center with pools and a spa; sporting facilities; conference spaces; and a full suite of urgent care, lab, imaging services and physicians’ offices. Affordable membership packages will be open to the public with early enrollment starting in July.

The project is part of the health care system’s natural progression to continue to identify and provide what is needed to keep the community healthy, says Cynthia Moore-Hardy, president and CEO of Lake Health.

“As we did our strategic planning, we met with members of the community, our medical staff and a variety of other community resources to determine where we needed to go,” Moore-Hardy says.

“A component of that was looking at how we could develop a wellness campus that includes a variety of services. As health care evolves and needs evolve, we want to be able to provide the services that are needed. This facility has the ability to scale and be flexible based on community need.”

Not a health club
Patrons of the Mentor Wellness Campus will find that it blends traditional health care with wellness, health and fitness, Popely says. But it’s not your traditional health club.

“There is medical supervision and a medical director,” Popely says. “Each particular member has an individualized prescription for health that touches on all the different aspects of what makes a person healthy.”

Employers who want to keep their employees in good health will be able to work with Lake Health to develop customized plans that strive to do just that.

“A lot of employers have wellness dollars set aside now that they use through their insurance provider, or if they’re self-funded, that money comes out of an overall fund,” Popely says. “Or they can do it in concert with a wellness benefit in their insurance. We’re talking through all those different types of models to help fund all the benefits that would come with a membership in this type of environment.”

The facility will have qualified experts on staff ranging from exercise physiologists, athletic trainers, health and wellness coaches, massage therapists, physical therapists, registered dieticians and strength and conditioning coaches, Popely says.

“All of these different functions will work together,” Popely says. “They are integrated and pass the baton one to the next in order to help a specific person address their needs and goals.”

As more people require treatment for chronic diseases, Moore-Hardy says Lake Health needs to continue to look for ways to treat, slow down and even prevent these ailments.

“That’s something we’re always doing with our strategic planning process,” Moore-Hardy says. “Over the years, the whole issue of managing chronic diseases and keeping the population healthier has really come forth.”

Make a splash
One of the most popular aspects of the Mentor Wellness Campus is the pool — or pools — that will be part of the new facility.

“People are drawn to water,” Popely says. “And there are multiple bodies of water in this facility. There is a competition pool, a therapy pool, a leisure pool and a whirlpool. The way we’re approaching the aquatic areas is we’re meeting multiple needs in the same space.”

The competition pool will be used by neighboring Mentor High School for its swim teams, giving the school a pool to call its own for the first time. The Cardinal Clinic, which Lake Health has used to provide health care services on site at the high school to serve faculty, staff and families, will also be relocating to the Mentor Wellness Campus.

“We’ll be offering internship programs for students to explore different areas of health care as potential career opportunities,” Popely says.

Thanks to the mild winter, construction on the project has been moving along quite well and the facility is expected to open on schedule in early 2018.
How to reach: Lake Health, (440) 953-9600 or