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By Will Fritz
Associate Editor 

Health district receives presentation from consultants on proposed work plan for new wellness center


Last updated 12/20/2019 at 11:28pm

The Fallbrook Regional Health District board at its Dec. 11 meeting heard a presentation from the consultants the district hired to identify what the uses the community may have for the future Fallbrook Wellness Center.

The district broke ground on the future wellness center site, a former church on East Mission Road near Stage Coach Lane, in September 2018. The decision was made to open a wellness center after the former Fallbrook Hospital closed in 2014.

Rachel Mason, executive director of the health district, said in October that the district was planning to hire consultants to “restart the conversation with the community to identify what makes the most sense for programming and staff at the wellness center.”

On Dec. 11, representatives from those consultants – Catalyst, which handles program strategy, and Taylor Design, which handles design and architecture – told the health district board that they plan to take about six months to assess needs and return with a final report.

Health district board Chair Howard Salmon – who at the same meeting was chosen by the rest of the board to remain the chair for 2020 – said the purpose of the presentation was to hear the consultants’ collaborative approach for a proposal that the board will act on at its next meeting.

“We decided that this is such a big investment and secondly needs to clearly address all of the significant portions of the population – all of the ages, all of the ethnic diversity – we asked our consultants to make a presentation to us,” Salmon said, “so that we can be more certain about the activities and services that would go in there so we have the best chance of success. We don’t want any failures.”

Debbie Jacobs with Catalyst told the board that the plan is to break the wellness center needs assessment process into three phases.

Catalyst will mainly handle the first phase, a vision and community needs assessment, which is expected to take place during January and February. During that phase, the consultants will collect and review available information and get community input on what health concerns can be addressed in the wellness center.

“The first phase is really about garnering an understanding about your community,” Sharon Conklin, director of operations for Catalyst, said.

During March and April, Taylor Design will take on more of a lead by translating the community needs into a site plan.

By May, the plan is to provide cost estimates and present a final report on what should go into the new wellness center.

The board is expected to vote on the consultants’ work plan in January.

Will Fritz can be reached by email at [email protected]


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