Brevard County Commission Unanimously Approves Health First’s Wellness Village Plan
By Space Coast Daily // July 19, 2022
Wellness Village will transform the consumer health and wellness experience across the Space Coast
The new wellness complex in downtown Merritt Island lauded for its vision, job creation.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Today, the Brevard County Commission considered and unanimously approved a proposal from Health First to build a Wellness Village featuring a new hospital in downtown Merritt Island.
The concept is unique to the area and region. The campus will feature a seven-story, 120-bed state-of-the-art hospital anchoring a 15-acre complex that will feature a fitness center and spa, a health and wellness education center, a restaurant, coffee shop and juice bar, retail space and more. The campus will showcase Health First’s transition from an era focused on sick care to an era of providing healing well and living well services.
Health First will soon begin the construction process, fencing the site, razing the current structure and beginning the groundwork required for the campus.
Engineer Ken Good, a Project Director at Atkins in Melbourne, told the Commission that the campus will collect and treat its own stormwater runoff, a nod to the premium Merritt Island residents and leaders place on their natural and aquatic resources.
Cape Canaveral Hospital, built in 1962, cannot provide the spaces and infrastructure required of a modern hospital. For instance, each of the 120 rooms in the new facility will be private.
“I’m so, so glad to see they are building a facility that’s beneficial to the public,” Mary Jane Nail, a Cocoa Beach resident, told the Commission during the public comment opportunity.
“Brevard County is devoid of wellness education, promotion and living, so I’m delighted, delighted to see that they’re going in that direction.”
Marcus Herman, CEO of nearby Triangle Auto that has been in business for decades in Merritt Island and chairman of the Merritt Island Redevelopment Agency, said the plan had been fully vetted by his group and clearly demonstrated a positive transformation for Merritt Island.
Plans to design and construct Wellness Villages in Brevard County, including the relocation of Cape Canaveral Hospital to a new state-of-the-art facility, were first announced by Health First in 2019 with the goal of transforming the consumer health and wellness experience across the Space Coast. They were delayed by the pandemic.
“These villages will provide modern acute care, but at the core of this transition are Health First’s wellness services. We’re still at the leading edge of traditional treatment – sick care – but here we’re offering progressive preventive care, as well as related lifestyle-supporting services – healing well and living well,” said Matthew Gerrell, Health First CEO, Retail Services.
“It’s designed with the consumer in mind, providing our community what they want, when they want it – with an added bonus of being in one central location.
A preview event of the plan was hosted for local residents and business owners in May order to give them the very first public viewing of plans – including the most detailed renderings to date – as well as the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback. Jonathan Flyte, Health First Sr. Vice President Facilities Construction, provided a detailed overview of the Merritt Island Wellness Village Plan. (Health First image)
Health First has created a new Wellness Villages website for the latest information. Please visit HF.org/wellnessvillages.