Wellness Institute at Seven Oaks going global

November 6, 2013

For immediate release to all Manitoba Media, Wednesday, November 6

Wellness Institute at Seven Oaks going global

The Wellness Institute at Seven Oaks General Hospital has signed a partnership agreement with the Chinese Hospital Association to provide training and support for chronic disease prevention and management to its many member hospitals.

The award winning Wellness Institute is Canada’s first medical fitness facility owned and operated by a hospital. The Wellness Institute has a unique model for extending the continuum of care through an array of rehabilitation, disease management and prevention programs.

Chinese hospital representatives first became aware of the work at Seven Oaks Hospital while visiting hospitals across the United States and Canada two years ago. That trip led to an invitation for Seven Oaks President and Chief Operating Officer Carrie Solmundson to visit China in July and again in September to describe the Wellness Institute model and discuss ways to translate that into Chinese healthcare.

“The Chinese have a growing middle class and with it, many of the same chronic diseases – diabetes, heart and lung and kidney disease – that we face in Canada. Hospitals are the mainstay of their healthcare system, but they know they need to move care into the community and prevent minor conditions from becoming chronic problems,” Solmundson said.

A training centre will start in the in the spring with a conference for Chinese hospital administrators, followed by frontline healthcare staff who will travel to Canada to learn from Wellness Institute health professionals and take what they learn back to China and its 20,000 hospitals.

All costs, including the two exploratory visits by Solmundson have been covered by the Chinese hosts.

“We were a bit taken aback at first that hospitals with 3000 beds compared to our 300, are looking for ways to emulate our approach to health promotion and disease prevention,” Solmundson said. “It’s exciting for us to have our work recognized internationally, and to have the opportunity to extend what we know to do beyond our borders.”

The agreement also calls for both parties to cooperate on Chronic Disease Management Research. Wellness has been evaluating its programs and services for 15 years and also been a site for several types of research into education and exercise interventions, but has barely scratched the surface of its potential for research, Solmundson said.

To request interviews or photo opportunities please contact:                

Toby Maloney, Public Relations Manager

204-632-3341 or tmaloney@sogh.mb.ca