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Foundation for Ripon Medical Center pledges wellness center support
November 15, 2012

The Foundation for Ripon Medical Center will help enhance the overall health and well-being of Ripon and surrounding communities by making a $2.4 million pledge to support the construction of a wellness center at the new Ripon Medical Center.

Ripon Medical Center leaders have broken ground on a new 120,000-square-foot facility off Highway 23. Opening is slated for summer 2014.

The concept of a wellness center has surfaced during community and business feedback sessions as input was sought for the new hospital facility.

“The community has been overwhelmingly supportive of Ripon Medical Center adding a wellness center as part of its construction,” says Rita Meidam, Foundation for Ripon Medical Center executive director. “This wellness center will provide a great environment where our patients can heal, as well as improve the health of the community and local employers.”

The significant donation from the Foundation for Ripon Medical Center complements the Foundation’s mission, according to Jean Johnson, MD, Foundation for Ripon Medical Center Board of Directors chairperson. “The new Ripon Medical Center is the most significant event since the hospital was originally built in 1936. It offers the opportunity to be truly up-to-date in meeting the health needs of the community.”

Ripon Medical Center has been fortunate to have a gym onsite for physical and occupational therapy, as well as cardiac rehab, for many years. It was in the early 1990s that the gym was opened up to interested community members, with an expansion in 1997.

“This new wellness center will provide so many new opportunities for Ripon Medical Center and the community as a whole,” Meidam says. “Our patients will have the privacy and specialized care they need and desire through a separate rehab gym, while individuals looking to enhance their fitness levels will have the fitness center to achieve their goals.”

It will open up opportunities for more specific fitness-related classes, as well as educational classes on wellness. And for patients that are finished with physical or occupational therapy or cardiac rehab, the wellness center provides the perfect transition from Ripon Medical Center care to continued fitness opportunities.

The wellness center also complements efforts in Fond du Lac and Green Lake counties to reduce the rate of obesity within communities.

 “Our wellness center will help enhance efforts by the Healthy Community 2020 Coalition in Fond du Lac County to increase the number of residents that are at a healthy weight and to support wellness initiatives,” according to Meidam. “We will also be able through our Center for Bone & Joint Health and other departments to develop and implement a community education campaign on healthy eating and active living.”

Now that the Foundation for Ripon Medical Center funding commitment is made, work will begin with Zimmerman Architectural Studios on specific design work.

“We are proud to be part of this noteworthy project in the Ripon community,” according to Dr. Johnson. “We are grateful for all the support given to the Foundation for Ripon Medical Center for so many years that has led us to this very important milestone in our history.”

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