Lift Orlando is on a mission to strengthen communities and improve access to essential resources that promote health and quality of life. The organization made history on Feb.10 by hosting the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Heart of West Lakes Wellness Center. The 30,000-square-foot center will provide residents with convenient access to holistic health, financial, and lifestyle services under one roof, all aimed at combating deep-rooted healthcare disparities in historically Black neighborhoods near Camping World Stadium, known as the Communities of West Lakes.
This ambitious $13.5 million project is possible because of the large-scale collaboration between Lift Orlando, AdventHealth, Orlando Health, and Florida Blue. It represents the first-ever partnership of this scale, uniting organizations with a shared vision of promoting equitable access to healthcare, financial resources, and other essential services.
“It takes a village to do something like this project, and the amazing thing is, nobody along for the ride was in it to make money, and nobody along for the ride was in it for publicity. They were only in it because they love justice and the people of this community, and I think that’s particularly special,” said Tom Sittema, Board Chair of Lift Orlando.
The Heart of West Lakes Wellness Center is more than just a healthcare center. It is a community hub that will catalyze economic growth and job creation in the region, with approximately 40 full-time jobs created. The center will be the cornerstone of the $100M West Lakes Community Campus envisioned by Lift Orlando, which seeks to reverse decades of disinvestment in the area.
West Lakes Financial Wellbeing Center, the Florida Blue Center Orlando West Lakes, Legacy Café, and event and gathering spaces are on the first floor. The second floor will house Community Health Centers, ELEVATE Orlando, and Lift Orlando.
The Heart of West Lakes Wellness Center aims to provide the residents of West Lakes with the support they need to lead healthy, fulfilling lives. It is a much-needed resource in an often neglected community, and it will impact the region by providing access to comprehensive healthcare, regardless of insurance coverage. The center also offers financial and business resources, health and wellness classes, healthy food options, and gathering places that promote community-building and social connections.
Visit https://www.heartofwestlakes.com/ for more information.