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Pardee and Mission hospitals and the YMCA of Western North Carolina have agreed to add a new YMCA building to the Mission-Pardee health campus on the county line in Fletcher.
The agreement to add the facility was announced by the Pardee Board of Directors after a closed session on Wednesday night. The 40,000-square-foot YMCA building dovetails with the increasingly important role that wellness and exercise will play in cost containment and health care delivery, said Pardee CEO Jay Kirby. Pardee chairman Bill Moyer added that the partnership is a smart business move, too.
The current Hendersonville YMCA, which is part of the WNC organization, will remain open. The new Y building will have exercise equipment and other wellness features but does not have a pool for now in its plans. Hendersonville YMCA members will be eligible to use the Fletcher Y, as they're eligible to use all the sister Ys in the area.
The two hospitals, the health campus developer and the YMCA have all signed a letter of intent and agreed to the project, Pardee officials said.
Kirby said the partnership makes sense given the health care environment and need for more preventive services.
“Certainly with the increasing complexities of health reform, the impact wellness is going to play in keeping communities and individuals well in the future, the fact that there’s not a tremendous amount of saturation of individuals who have health and wellness memberships in this county," the partnership is a good fit, he said. "The YMCA has looked to Henderson County as an opportunity to grow and increase services. Pardee feels fortunate and blessed to have the Y join in a new facility of approximately 40,000 square feet on the health campus beside the Phase 1 project.
"We think having wellness and medical care side by side where we can work together to deal with chronic issues such as childhood obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease” makes sense for both organizations.
Moyer described the partnership as a natural piece of Pardee’s strategy to expand its footprint in Henderson County and south Buncombe by expanding the services that bring patients to the door of the hospital, to clinics and to the growing number of Pardee-owned physician practices.
“We are certainly looking as we provide quality health care to expand the services we provide to the community, and we’re looking to expand the business for our doctors and the hospital to keep all these entities viable and strong," Moyer said, "and we think this this is a natural step toward enhancing our business as a hospital and enhancing the doctors that are associated directly with the hospital and those that are related to it. We think it’s a definite plus for the community, a definite plus for the hospital and for all the doctors and staff associated with it.”
A new Y in Fletcher would give members three choices in a radius of less than 10 miles — the Hendersonville location, the Reuters Y in Biltmore Town Park and the new Fletcher facility.
Partnerships that stress prevention, exercise and nutrition align with the YMCA’s goals, YMCA officials said, which include healthy living along with social responsibility and youth development.
"The Y looks forward to expanding its service in Buncombe and Henderson County with a focus on healthy living," Paul Vest, the president and CEO of the YMCA of WNC, said in a statement. "Through this partnership we will create a lasting, positive impact on the lives of families, neighbors and youth in the community. This brings us one step closer to realizing the Y's 10-year strategic plan of building healthier communities in Western North Carolina."
The new Y will provide healthy living programs such as cooking classes, diabetes prevention and other wellness programs.
"Whenever like-minded community organizations can partner for the sake of the community, everyone wins," Kirby said. "It is more important than ever for organizations such as ours to make these valuable health and wellness services more accessible and more convenient to the people we serve."
Pardee officials said they did not yet have costs for the project. The building will be built by the developer under an arrangement similar to the contract under which Pardee will lease the health campus space. The development company includes Mission as an owner; Pardee has the right under its contract to buy into the company. The YMCA has agreed to lease the building. The term of the lease is 15 years, said Kris Peters, Pardee's vice president for strategy.