The Philip Heit Center for Healthy New Albany in New Albany, Ohio, is similar to other wellness centers in aiming to improve the collective health of a community by bringing together multiple healthcare services under one roof.

However, instead of these services coming from one organization, Healthy New Albany, the nonprofit force behind the center, decided to create a partnership with two established community providers—The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

The two-story, 55,000-square-foot facility combines public spaces, such as a demonstration kitchen and multipurpose meeting rooms, with a membership-based fitness center on the first floor. The upper floor houses clinical and rehabilitation services where Wexner Medical Center delivers primary care, integrated medicine, sports medicine, and physical therapy, and Nationwide Children’s focuses on sports medicine, orthopedic services, and educational programs geared toward younger patients and their families.

Columbus, Ohio-based architecture firm Moody Nolan was tasked with the challenge of unifying the services and providers in a cohesive environment. To make sure the space didn’t favor one brand over another, a new brand statement was created for the center, using a bright green, white, and walnut wood-tone color and materials palette on the more public-focused first floor, says Karen Roch, an associate principal at Moody Nolan.

On the second floor, where the clinics share an open waiting area and registration desk, a more neutral palette was used. “By creating a unified look, we set the culture of a unified team,” says Patty McClimon, senior vice president of strategic and facilities planning at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

The approach also allows the providers to blend traditional clinical services with a population health management model, says Tom Caldwell, associate executive director for OSU Sports Medicine & Ambulatory Services at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “The concept aligns perfectly with our vision to shift focus from treatment of disease to chronic disease prevention and maintenance of wellness,” he says.

For example, since the wellness center’s opening in spring, experts from Wexner Medical Center’s dietary services have provided cancer prevention diet education to the public in the on-site cooking demonstration kitchen, while Nationwide Children’s is working with New Albany schools on athletic training and mental health programs.

McClimon thinks the center’s model can be applied in other communities, too. “By participating in this effort where health is a way of life, we can improve the outcomes for our patients in the community,” she says.

Anne DiNardo is senior editor of Healthcare Design. She can be reached at