The efforts to set Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge apart from other hospitals include a resort-like entrance, elaborate chandeliers and, now, an attached spa.
The Healing Waters Spa officially opens on Thursday, though hospital staffers and a few select patients have been testing the waters in recent days. A combination of a full-service spa and a plastic surgery practice, the facility is a partnership between Palmetto Health and Healing Waters, which has similar facilities in Wichita, Kan., and Durham, N.C.
“I don’t think there’s anything else like this on any medical campus certainly not in our state,” said Sarah Kirby, acute care executive at Parkridge. “We have never done anything like this at Palmetto Health.”
Parkridge opened last spring just off I-26 in the Harbison area, with a building that looks more like a luxury hotel than a hospital. The goal is to make patients feel comfortable rather than intimidated. The artwork and chandeliers are matched by high-tech health care-related equipment in patient rooms.
The hospital-spa connection takes that to the next level with a natural cross-pollination. Healing Waters employees will provide a free hand or foot massage to every patient at the hospital, and new mothers will be offered 30-minute massages and 30-minute facials in their hospital rooms after giving birth.
Amanda Gorecki, founder and president of Healing Waters, said the hospital connection isn’t what sets the 6,931-square-foot facility apart, although the other Healing Waters sites are in retail settings.
“Community spas are either very strong on the spa side or, if it’s a wellness practice or a plastic surgery practice, they’re very strong on that side,” Gorecki said. “You don’t often find it where you’re at a varsity level on both sides.”
Plastic surgeon Dr. Peter Haines is the medical director of the spa, which will employ 27 people at its opening. As the hospital and spa get fully ramped up, the staff is expected to double, Gorecki said.
Healing Waters will offer facials, massage therapy and medical aesthetic procedures such as Botox, plastic surgery and wellness activities. Classes will be put together on topics such as teen skin care or stress management and the power of journaling.
That doesn’t sound like a typical hospital, and that’s exactly what Kirby wants.
“We’d love for people to come to Parkridge who aren’t sick but they want to attend a class, focus on wellness, get a healthy meal and be able to get a massage,” Kirby said. “We’re absolutely delivering on that front.”