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By Will Fritz
Associate Editor 

Health district continues to make progress on Fallbrook Wellness Center


Last updated 10/30/2019 at 9:34am

The Fallbrook Regional Health District anticipates soon clearing a hurdle to get the future

Fallbrook Wellness Center up and running, though it's still unclear when it will actually be


The Fallbrook Community Planning Group approved a plan to modify the future wellness

center's major use permit back in September, and the health district anticipates the permit

modification will end up in front of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in December,

health district executive director Rachel Mason said.

The property that is planned to be used for the wellness center has previously been used as a

church, small school and parsonage.

They broke ground on the future wellness center site in September 2018. The decision was made

to open the wellness center after the former Fallbrook Hospital closed in 2014 and was sold three

years later.

There are no immediate plans to make major changes to the wellness center site, but once the

permit change goes through, Mason said the health district plans to hire a consultant to "restart

that conversation with the community to identify what makes the most sense for programming

and staff."

After that happens, some internal changes may be made to the existing church buildings on the

site, Mason said.

"Most of it will probably be internal as far as being able to create smaller office space hubs or

change the layout for community space," she said. "The parsonage home will probably see the

most internal changes because we want to make that kitchen area available for some cooking or

health education classes."

However, there's no way to say definitively what changes will be made until the consultant is

hired, Mason said.

"Without having a little more direction from consultants on how to better utilize that space, we

just aren't comfortable trying to do that ourselves," she said. "We're not space planners."

The health district already surveyed some community members in May and June to get feedback

on what sort of services are needed at the wellness center.

"There haven't been a lot of obvious things you can see that have happened over there (at the

wellness center), but there's been a lot of infrastructure conversation at the district to make sure

that we're on the same mission and the same path," Mason said.

As of yet, there is still no clear idea of when the wellness center may open, she said.

"We just don't know until we identify the consultants, because they may be able to say, 'Here

are some very small tweaks to your existing internal tenant improvements of the property,' or

they may be able to say 'Hey, we want to take a longer amount of time with the feasibility

study,'" Mason said. "Our goal is that by the springtime we should be able to have a better idea

and a more fleshed out plan for what that will look like."

However, the health district did recently allow support groups to start using the property,

Monday, Oct. 14.

"That doesn't require fundamental changes to the property to accommodate that," Mason said.

And the health district also plans to partner with the local Lions Club to do their large

community vision screening program at the wellness center site in November, she said.


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