A nursing home with an 80,000-person capacity is the kind of project that requires the right level of coordination.
But the $2 billion OATHS facility in Oakwood, Florida, was built with a different mindset, says its developer.
“We had no idea we were building a nursing home,” says Brian McBride, CEO of OATH, an organization that owns the nursing home and has worked to help stabilize it since it opened in 2012.
McBride says the complex needs more than a nursing facility, and he’s trying to find more innovative ways to help keep the residents healthy and happy.
“I think that’s really what we’re working towards, which is really building a really good nursing home for our patients,” he says.
“But it’s also a really big investment.”
OATHC’s project was built in the 1990s and is currently undergoing a $1.6 billion modernization project, which aims to make it a more patient-centered and inclusive facility.
McBrides plan includes building a new indoor and outdoor fitness center, a fitness center with a swimming pool and an outdoor kitchen, and a large new health center.
But it also needs to create more social activities and add more facilities, such as an outpatient clinic, for patients with serious health conditions.
To help with this, McBride has built a large social hub inside the complex, which has become a gathering spot for the residents.
“This is where we talk to each other, where we share our concerns and challenges and how we can help each other in our journey to a better health,” he explains.
“Our goal is to be as close as possible to the patients, where they can come in, interact with our team, get to know each other.”
The nursing home is already making progress on this front, and the OATHB’s efforts have been recognized with a $3.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The grant will allow the company to build a new outdoor facility with a more inclusive design.
“There’s definitely a desire to build something for patients that is more inclusive and welcoming,” McBride notes.
“In addition to being a lot healthier, we’re trying to keep people out of the pool area.
It’s not just a place for people who are obese.”
While the complex’s new facility might sound great, McBrises group also wants to find new ways to keep the facility’s residents healthy.
For instance, they are also looking at a facility with more than one unit that will allow patients to access more than the nursing facility has, so that they can use a combined facility instead of a nursing or day care facility.
“For the patients in the new facility, they can access a range of different services, which includes nutrition, health, wellness, and support,” he adds.
“The nursing home will still have a small number of units that can only be accessed by the residents, and there will be a number of additional units for other patients that will be located at the new complex.”
McBride plans to also add a new community-based health center that will include a new wellness center and a community kitchen.
“A lot of the facilities have had a lot of changes, and this facility will be very similar to the nursing homes that we have already operated in the community,” he emphasizes.
“So it will be different, but it will have the same core of the same services.”