Public Input Sought of Proposed Bryan Health and Wellness DistrictFeatured Stories, Interviews Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
There will be a public meeting Monday from 6 until 7 p.m. and an open house Tuesday from 4:30 until 7 at Bryan city hall.
Click below for comments from Tim Ottinger of St. Joseph’s and WTAW’s Bill Oliver.TimOttinger080714.mp3
News release courtesy the city of Bryan:
Following more than six months of work by a local Task Force, residents will get an early glimpse of what a Health and Wellness-focused district might offer them in the way of delivering world-class healthcare and encouraging active, healthy lifestyles for people living, working, and learning in the area around St. Joseph Regional Health Center.
The Health and Wellness district initiative would seek to bring together resources – ranging from diabetes classes with healthy cooking courses to well-designed green space that could encourage exercise and help relieve everyday stress – to support community efforts to improve both the health of our residents and our community’s economic health and quality of life. It would include new housing and business development opportunities and recommended community infrastructure enhancements, crafted with an emphasis on health and wellness.
The concept grew out of discussions between St. Joseph Health System and the City of Bryan, as they sought ways to develop a clear, concise vision for the area in and around the St. Joseph Regional Health Center, the region’s largest provider of health services. From those discussions, a Task Force of local health care providers, business & educational leaders, and private citizens came together and began working to draft a scope of service for the Health & Wellness initiative. With the scope outlined, the Task Force helped secure public/private funding to engage nationally-recognized planning consultants Loony Ricks Kiss (LRK) to develop a proposal for a Health and Wellness Master Plan for the City of Bryan.
Although still in the early project-planning phase, the Health & Wellness Master Plan is focused on an area around the intersection of 29th Street and Villa Maria in Bryan, given local health resources, access and other infrastructure availability.
“This is an innovative project,” said Tim Ottinger, Advocacy & Community Benefits Officer with the St. Joseph Health System. “We know that many of the resources essential to creating a Health & Wellness district are present in our community, and that we can all benefit from a collaborative effort to leverage these resources. We also know that as healthcare in America continues to evolve, there will be a much greater call for each of us to be more engaged in maintaining our own good health through awareness, education and activities. Our Health & Wellness initiative moves past healthcare as treatment of existing conditions to a place where prevention and wellness are the focus of healthcare.”
As part of the planning process, LRK will analyze existing resources and identify potential opportunities to enhance the planning area. The Health & Wellness Master Area Plan effort will consider land use, transportation, and district appearance and identity. The land use plan will make recommendations that support valid economic development strategies for the area, as well as support development of a distinctive health and wellness district where people want to live, work and play.
The phase that is critical to the development of the Master Plan is coming up – gathering input from the public on what they would like to see in a district-level Health and Wellness initiative. A public input meeting and a design open house are scheduled for Aug. 18-19 to discuss with the community the concept for a Health & Wellness Master Plan in Bryan. Alternative concepts for the Health and Wellness Master Plan will be presented at public meetings to gather input.
“Because this is a fairly new concept to design a space that promotes health and wellness, we knew we needed to take time to talk about the concept and put a few ideas on the drawing board,” said Joey Dunn, Deputy City Manager with the City of Bryan. “What the public will see are early concepts – we very much depend on the input of residents as we shape this concept.”
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