YMCA at White Rock broke ground last week. /Photo by Brittany Nunn

YMCA at White Rock broke ground last week. /Photo by Brittany Nunn

With the new YMCA at White Rock comes a new partnership that few YMCA facilities have undertaken: a health and wellness center.

Doctors Hospital plans to open a small clinic inside the YMCA, specializing in primary and preventive care on evenings and weekends. The 800-square-foot clinic will have two exam rooms and also offer free health screenings, support groups and seminars focused on issues such as weight loss, diabetes and prenatal care. Low-cost flu shots also will be provided.

The idea is modeled after the YMCA of Greater Des Moines in Iowa, which has medically integrated healthcare to the community environment of the Y, says Eric Boon, a YMCA at White Rock board member and the director of business development for Doctors Hospital. He helped launch the partnership.

“We have the same mission, so why not work together?” Boon says.

The seminars may include visits from local chefs who demonstrate how to shop for and prepare a healthy meal on a budget. More types of programming will be confirmed as the opening approaches.

Patients don’t have to be a Y member to visit the clinic, but the hope is that those who aren’t members see the benefits of becoming one. Boon envisions a scenario in which a mom-to-be can receive her prenatal care at the Doctors Hospital clinic and then walk right over to a studio in the Y to practice prenatal yoga for a nominal fee of $5-$10.

“Healthcare is personal, and it’s local,” Boon says. “By forming a partnership with the YMCA, we meet both those goals. This allows us to be relevant to the community.”

Doctors Hospital operates its main location at North Buckner and Garland Road near White Rock Lake. On Dec. 4, it will open an urgent care center in the Casa Linda Shopping Center and another in Lakewood by next spring.

The new YMCA at White Rock broke ground Friday at Gaston and Loving. The more than 37,000-square-foot facility is scheduled for completion in fall of 2014, with or without its indoor and outdoor pools. That depends on whether the Y meets its $10.5 million fundraising goal.

The property formally was home to the Trinity Lutheran Church, demolished in October.

Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.