The YMCA integrated with Baptist North Medical Campus as part of a new wellness and medical center on the Northside.
The three-story building, at the intersection of I-295 and Dunn Avenue, opened Monday and offers area residents a full spectrum of healthy living resources, including fitness and wellness programs for adults and families, as well as a KidZone.
According to YMCA spokewoman Jill Wu, the first floor is home to the Y Healthy Living Center. The second and third floors are for primary care and specialists. Physicians will move into their offices from March to June. Wu added both walk-ins and appointments will be accepted.
Irvin Cohen, Johnson Family Branch YMCA executive director, was raised on the Northside and said he wants to redefine how people think about the area.
“When you hear about the Northside — in particular when you talk about Jacksonville — you usually hear high crime, high morbidity rates, high disease. You hear all of the negative connotations that you would not want to hear with any other place in town,” Cohen said.
Cohen said the new facility can help address some of those issues by creating a welcoming environment for the community to work out in.
“What we are hopefully doing is making the northside a destination that people want to call home. People want to live where they have access to things and stuff,” Cohen said.
A. Hugh Greene, CEO of Baptist Health, said the facility is essential to promoting the health of the community.
“We are pleased to be opening another phase of our campus to expand our ongoing commitment to the Northside community,” Greene said.
Intern Serena Summerfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 904.358.6317, or Twitter @sumserfield.