OWOSSO — Every aspect of the patient experience is being considered in the design of Memorial Healthcare’s new Neurology, Orthopedic, Rehabilitation and Community Wellness Center.

The $40-million, 115,000-square-foot facility continues to take shape along M-52, and is tentatively scheduled to open in early 2022 on grounds north of the Medical Arts Building on Memorial’s main campus.

In addition to neurological, orthopedic and rehabilitative care, the three-story building will also provide area residents a medically based wellness center featuring nutritional counseling and group fitness classes, among other offerings.

“All I’ve heard from the designers, the planners, the clinical staff and what we want to do here, it seems magical. It’s going to be incredible,” Charlie Thompson, director of facilities at Memorial, said Tuesday as he led a tour of the facility. “It’s not just the beauty of the building, it’s what’s going on inside, it’s the magic that Memorial does that is really exciting.”

The new space strives to bring health care and wellness together, servicing patient needs from diagnosis to treatment to rehab and beyond.

“I think that’s so needed in today’s health care society,” said Danielle Schmidt, executive director of the new facility. “Here it’s all under one roof, which is where the industry is going. I’m so excited to see that in our backyard.”

Personal training, nutritional counseling and group fitness classes — yoga, Pilates and spin classes, among others — will be offered in the Community Wellness Center. Different membership options will be available to residents, though the exact parameters have yet to be announced, Schmidt said.

Locker rooms, private showers, steam rooms, a sauna, a lap pool and a cardio/exercise theater featuring treadmills, ellipticals and free weights are included in the space, along with a raised track for walking/running that offers views of the entire Memorial campus and surrounding area.

The Community Wellness Center aims not only to service residents seeking to maintain their own physical health, but also patients post-rehab.

“If you just got done with a knee replacement (for example), your third step here is with the personal trainer, the registered dietitian, showing how you can safely move mobility-wise onto the next part of life,” Schmidt said.

An 81-seat tiered educational theater, featuring a full demonstration kitchen, will also allow Memorial to help people lead healthy lives.

“You can do diabetes education out here, heart-healthy education, oncology, everything geared right toward the chronic diseases from the demonstration kitchen,” Schmidt said. “It’s nice to have that hands-on (piece).”

The comfort of the patient throughout his or her stay is also taken into consideration in the facility.

An “on stage, off stage” layout in the neurological wing, for example, is meant to put patients at ease.

The exam rooms have separate entrances, one for patients/family and another for medical staff. The rooms are intentionally designed to be a bit larger, Thompson said, and will include TVs that can be used for informational videos specific to a patient’s condition, as well entertainment.

A patient’s first visit for multiple sclerosis can be particularly lengthy, Thompson noted, which is a major reason why Memorial aimed to create a “lounge feel” for each room.

“We want comfort for the patient,” he said, adding, “hopefully, it’ll loosen that anxiety.”

MRIs and other testing, and consultation with physical therapists and/or dietitians will all be offered inside the building, and an on-site pharmacy will fill prescriptions for patients, eliminating the need for travel.

“Anything that they need, it’s brought here to them,” Memorial Director of Business Development Vicki Mckay said.

“It’s all about (the) patient experience,” Thompson said.

Child care services will also be offered to anyone in the facility, with separate rooms designed for infants and older children.

“We want to make it easy for the patient to go to their appointments, to be healthy, to be a part of these different groups or to go to these education classes,” Schmidt said. “When they have their three our four children (it can be a challenge).”

A cafe featuring a variety of coffees, smoothies, salads and other healthy options will occupy a portion of the building’s main atrium, while a research center takes up a portion of the building’s third floor.

Thompson acknowledged construction has been delayed at varying points due to the coronavirus pandemic, though an opening date is likely after the first of the year.

“Hopefully all of those New Year’s resolutions won’t have to wait too long,” he said.

For more information on Memorial Healthcare’s Neurology, Orthopedic, Rehabilitation and Community Wellness Center, visit memorialhealthcare.org.

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