TRMC Wellness Center opens

Hundreds gathered at Thibodaux Regional Medical Center on Thursday to celebrate the unveiling of the hospital’s latest tool in the fight for healthy living.

The crowds were there for the dedication ceremony for TRMC’s Wellness Center, a $73 million facility focused on preventative medicine through improved health and wellness. Among those honoring the center were Gov. John Bel Edwards, Sen. Bill Cassidy and Rep. Garret Graves.

The 242,000-square foot Wellness Center is the first of its kind in Louisiana and features state-of-the-art technology in both its devices used for members and its energy-efficient design. The center also has multiple specialty centers such as an Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center, a spine center and a neurosciences center. Graves said the new center is a testament to a more proactive approach to medicine that would reduce medical emergencies down the line.

“This right here, in Thibodaux, Louisiana, is shifting the paradigm, it’s flipping it over, flipping the model over. This is reducing healthcare costs. This is helping longevity of our lives and enjoyment of our lives,” Graves said.

The facility officially opened to the public yesterday, and it seems to already have a solid base of interest in the region. According to TRMC CEO Greg Stock, the center already has 3,000 members and is looking to add more. Stock said though specifics have not been ironed out, he wants the Wellness Center to have a program specifically designed for those recently unemployed due to the struggling local economy. Stock said he hopes the program can help people get back on their feet by improving their health and lifestyles.

“This facility is meant to be for everybody. This isn’t a little private club. We want everybody. We don’t care how old they are, how young they are,” Stock said.

One of those new members is Clarissa Waguespack, an administrator at local health services provider Southern E.N.T. Associates. Waguespack signed up both herself and her husband, as well as many employees at her company. By signing up as a group, they were able to receive discounts on the membership costs. Waguespack said she led the charge to sign up at her office because of the long-term benefits both the company and the employees could reap from time spent at the center.

“You know, the healthier your employees are, the better your productivity, the more they’ll come to work because they won’t be ill,” Waguespack said.

Waguespack would like the use the center’s walking track as a refuge for cardio when the weather is not as inviting. While she has tried to maintain her health on her own, she thinks the Wellness Center’s vast array of machines, support staff and familiar faces will encourage her to focus more on her own wellness.

“Although we try to [exercise] on our own before we go to work, it’s a lot more fun to do it with others, and I’m a social being,” Waguespack said.

TRMC’s latest addition should serve as a beacon of preventative medicine on the nation’s front lines of the battle. Louisiana is ranked at or near the bottom of the country in many measures of health, including obesity and heart disease rates. Edwards said while those figures can serve as a testament to the enjoyment aspect of quality of life in Louisiana, the Wellness Center should help the health side of the state’s quality of life.

“The odd thing is, while our health outcomes are 49th or 50th in many measures, we’re also simultaneously the happiest people in the country,” Edwards said. “And I think it has to do with the food that we’re eating and sometimes with the things we’re drinking. But we can do better, and we owe it to ourselves to do better. And that’s what this is about.”

Lafourche Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle credited TRMC for funding the entire center without raising debt, even in a time of a struggling local economy and unsure future in the healthcare market. Cantrelle said the center’s completion is a testament to the forward thinking present in the Bayou Region.

“I think this country was founded by people with vision. I think our forefathers had a lot of vision. And we still have people, especially in our community, that have a vision to do something outstanding,” Cantrelle said. “I mean, my hat’s off to these people. It shows you that people still care, that people still want to produce for the people of this parish and this state.”

No. 6 TRMC opens long-anticipated Wellness Center

One of the Bayou Region’s biggest hospitals finally overcame delays that lasted years and opened its 242,000 square foot wellness center, bringing a comprehensive facility geared toward illness prevention.

The Thibodaux Regional Medical Center’s Wellness Center, CEO Greg Stock said, marked a major milestone in local health care when it opened in November.

The facility includes an Imaging Center, a Sports Medicine Center, a Pain Center, a full-sized pool and a basketball gym.

Trainers work on-site and individual patients can create exercise and lifestyle plans tailored to their specific needs.

The site also uses energy innovations, including elevators that generate power through their movement.