Patients at a Palmetto Health primary care office for whom exercise is recommended soon will be able to walk a few steps across an atrium to a YMCA fitness center.
Palmetto Health and the YMCA of Columbia on Monday announced a partnership in a new $6.8 million facility at 1089 Dutch Fork Road in the Irmo area. The 19,925 square-foot facility, near the new Walmart and the offices for District 5 schools, will feature a 7,497-square-foot family medicine physician practice and a 9,697-square-foot YMCA. For perspective, the Northwest YMCA just a few miles away is about 39,000 square feet.
The new Y fitness center will be comparable to the Northwest YMCA minus its pool, gym and child care facilities, said Bryan Madden, CEO of YMCA of Columbia.
Palmetto Health long has had a working relationship with the YMCA, most recently with Y Express locations installed in Palmetto Health Richland and Palmetto Health Baptist hospitals in 2011.
This joint project takes that to a new level. “It’s bigger than the building itself,” Madden said. “I’m excited about the partnership.”
Palmetto Health is committed to improving the physical, emotional and spiritual health of people in the area, said Judy Baskins, Palmetto Health’s physician practices ambulatory care executive. “What better way to do that than to partner with another committed community health leader like the YMCA of Columbia to capitalize on each organization’s strengths,” she said.
The new facility should make it easy to combine physician visits with community wellness programs, including health screenings, support groups and educational program. Palmetto Health and the YMCA said they already are looking to replicate the physician-Y partnership in other locations.