Release Date: August 11, 2014

Akron General gains new partner for wellness center development

Akron Beacon Journal

Akron General Health System has found a new partner in its efforts to capitalize on its experience creating and running wellness centers.

The health system announced this week it signed an agreement with the Boldt Co. of Wisconsin to help clients nationwide construct and operate such facilities.

Akron General previously operated a joint venture with Signet Enterprises of Akron to develop health and wellness centers nationwide. That deal ended earlier this year.

Through Akron General’s new relationship, Boldt will provide real estate development, construction and financial capital for clients.

Akron General is using its expertise from developing and running three health and wellness centers in the region to help customers plan and operate their own facilities, said Doug Ribley, the health system’s senior vice president for wellness.

“This is all really happening because of Akron General’s reputation,” he said.

Ribley said the health system opted to end its deal with Signet and pursue another partnership because of “differences in mission and values.”

Signet’s Integrated Wellness Partners is continuing to develop Sequoia Wellness medical fitness centers, including a facility scheduled to open in August on the Northeast Ohio Medical University campus in
Rootstown Township.

Akron General’s wellness center development venture now is operating under the name Akron General Health & Wellness Innovations.

The for-profit subsidiary already is consulting on projects nationwide with about 10 clients, including some that might be interested in contracting with Health & Wellness Innovations to run the center, Ribley said.

Boldt gives Health & Wellness Innovations the opportunity to offer comprehensive services for project development and financing to potential customers, Ribley said.

“We’re been really impressed with them,” he said. “They believe in this concept and what we’ve created and are willing to provide financing and development and construction oversight when needed without compromising the model.”

Boldt has extensive experience providing professional real estate, construction services and financing options to health-care clients nationwide. The 125-year-old company has completed more than $1 billion in health-care projects, including wellness centers, cancer centers, clinics, medical office buildings and

Boldt is working with Welty Building Co. of Fairlawn to oversee the $180 million construction project at Akron Children’s Hospital.

The company was looking for a partner to help develop medically based fitness centers as demand grows nationwide to add services that promote wellness, said Jake Garro, Boldt’s vice president for the development group.

Akron General is “clearly a leader in medical fitness,” Garro said. “For us, having a partnership with a national leader in medical fitness was important.”