Health center a first for downtown Tucson - Tucson News Now

Health center a first for downtown Tucson

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

El Rio Health and Tucson Medical Center have teamed up to open the first Health and Wellness Center in downtown Tucson.

The center will be 8,211 square feet of space and occupy the entire first floor of 1 West Broadway, which is now under construction at Broadway Boulevard and Stone Avenue.

It will be able to accommodate up to 7,000 patient visits a year.

It's a first for downtown which has seen a resurgence of business, restaurants, nightlife, students and new residential development.

"We have an opportunity with a lot of young people choosing downtown to live and most likely work," said Nancy Johnson, CEO of El Rio Health. "And we have a large, growing population of older adults and we want them to have the best quality of life, too."

A new senior living center will break ground in March at Church Avenue and Broadway, a new residential high rise has been approved across the street, La Placita will become home to 244 apartment units and the Diocese of Tucson will break ground on a new development, also at Church and Broadway.

Within two blocks are two more housing projects under construction.

While the Health and Wellness Center will not be a mini-hospital, it will "provide medical care, laboratory services, general radiology and a lot of health fitness and health coaching for people," Johnson said.

The first floor of the building will be glass enclosed giving passing motorists and pedestrians a view of the facility and promote an atmosphere of openness.

"The building will be designed with traditional exam rooms but also what we call dialogue rooms that allow for clinical care but also allow for health improvement," Johnson said.

It will be a place where patients will be able to get a flu shot, but if diagnosed with something more serious, can be referred to hospital care.

The center will be along the streetcar line which will make it more accessible.

"With the street care, it will make it easy to access and if felt very walkable to us," Johnson said.

The center is scheduled to be open in January and is a long-term commitment.

The lease extends 10 years.

Copyright 2016 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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