Hoag Opens Wellness Center for Holistic Needs

By Orange County Register

Categories: Featured News
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 there.”

To view the original Orange County Register article, please click here.