Hoag Hospital unveiled a new community wellness center Wednesday that will
provide low-income families with services intended to meet physical, psychological
and spiritual needs.
The nonprofit hospital turned a two-story office building into the Melinda
Hoag Smith Center for Healthy Living. Hoag is providing free space to
15 nonprofits working on issues such as preventing domestic violence,
improving maternal health and supporting healthy aging.
Hoag employees will assess the needs of families and coordinate centralized,
in-house services. Those served typically work in Newport Beach’s
large service industry but live in Costa Mesa and surrounding areas.
“We have these large pockets of poverty around us, which has created
tremendous inequality in wellness,” said Michaell Rose, director
of community health at Hoag. “The current system is fragmented.
If we send people up to Santa Ana, they may never get up there.”
The center includes the SOS Children and Family Health Center for medical
appointments and an SOS dental clinic. Hoag built private counseling offices
for the mental health services it offers, along with a meditation room
and yoga studio. The hospital’s pastoral care programs are also
based in the building.
The George Hoag Family Foundation donated $5 million to fund Hoag staff
and programs at the wellness center for the next five years. The center
is named for Melinda Hoag Smith, whose family helped found the hospital.
Her husband, Chuck Smith, is executive director of the foundation.
“We really believe that investing in the center today is going to
help bend the curve on these social issues tomorrow,” Chuck Smith said.
Jessica Romley, director of programs at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange
County, said the nonprofit plans to spend time at the center a few times
a week to help families obtain services such as dental appointments or
utility payment assistance.
“We’re really excited to connect our families with some of
the other really great resources here,” Romley said. “When
your basic needs aren’t met, it’s really hard to move up from
To view the original Orange County Register article, please click