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Wellness Insititute in Canada partners with China on 1st Wellness Center

Friday, August 7, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rebecca Nordan
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Grand Opening Canada Wellness Institute at Rizhao, Shandong, China

Winnipeg Hospital partners to open China’s first Medical Fitness Facility

The Wellness Institute at Seven Oaks General Hospital has led the development of China’s first Medical Fitness Facility opening tomorrow in Rizhao City, Shandong Province.

Under a multi‐year agreement with the local hospital in Rizhao, an 80,000 square foot facility has been developed in a building formerly used as the Reception Centre for the Water Sports events in the 2008 Olympics.

Canada Wellness Institute, a new not for profit company formed by Seven Oaks Hospital has been licensed to commercialize Wellness Institute’s expertise and brand in China. The partnership in Rizhao grew out of visits to Canada by the China Hospital Association and Chinese Hospitals interested in adopting Wellness Institute's model. 

In its 17 years in operation in Winnipeg Wellness Institute has become a leading expert in prescribing and supporting lifestyle medicine based on exercise, nutrition and healthy lifestyle behaviour change for the management and prevention of chronic disease. It has demonstrated success in helping people afflicted with heart, diabetes, kidney, cancer and lung disease as well as people at risk of disease, to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles.  

“This is global recognition for the Wellness Institute and the credit goes to our community, which had the foresight to plan and build a facility in 1996 that is now the model for facilities in China,” said Seven Oaks General Hospital President and Chief Operating Officer Carrie Solmundson. 

“China, like Canada, is grappling with rising incidence of chronic disease that is rooted in sedentary lifestyles, poor nutrition, and other unhealthy lifestyle behaviours,” she said.    Wellness Institute is integrated with the hospital but isn’t publicly funded; it’s a completely self‐sufficient non‐profit enterprise.

Profit earned by Wellness Institute in Canada, or from its consulting work in China, goes back into facilities and programs to benefit people in Manitoba. The made in Winnipeg solution has drawn accolades from both the federal and provincial governments.  Manitoba Trade and Investment and the Canadian embassy both provided advice and logistics for building relationships in China, and Canadian Ambassador to China Guy Saint Jacques is speaking at the grand opening in Rizhao along with China’s Vice Minister of Health.  


The New Facility

80,000 square feet dedicated space plus reception hall 

Former athlete reception centre for 2008 Olympics 

Adjacent to Water Sports Training and event facilities 

Renovated to design and functional program recommendations by Canada Wellness Institute The Wellness Institute model 

Lifestyle medicine approaches (personal exercise prescription, diet and nutrition counseling, smoking cessation, stress reduction) for disease management and disease prevention 

Support and motivation to make a permanent lifestyle change   

Integration with healthcare, evidence‐based approaches, medical oversight 

High standards for safety, staff training and customer service.  

The Grand Opening, August 6 

Grand Opening attended by  Dr. Wang Guoqiang, Vice Minister, National Health & Family Planning Commission and Guy Saint Jacques Canada’s Ambassador to China 

Congratulations from federal Health Minister Ambrose and Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger  Hospitals and prospective partners for additional facilities in attendance 

Tours and demonstrations for dignitaries and customers 

Announcement of agreement to develop Hainan (south China) facility Why Wellness Institute at Seven Oaks General Hospital? 

China is beginning to see western levels of chronic disease (diabetes, obesity and heart disease because of increasingly sedentary lifestyles, adoption of western diet trends and smoking

Wellness Institute at Seven Oaks General Hospital is an award winning facility with demonstrated success in leading lifestyle change to prevent illness and hospitalization.   

Wellness Institute is integrated with Canadian healthcare system which is held in high regard in China Wellness Institute in China 

Operating as Canada Wellness Institute, not for profit corporation owned by SOGH  Foundation

License agreement to commercialize Wellness Institute expertise, brand and processes

No healthcare funding/resources; all expenses and risks assumed by Canada Wellness Institute

Profits will be reinvested in Wellness Institute and Seven Oaks Hospital priorities

Rizhao facility will be a showcase and training centre for additional facilities in China Business growth for CWI

Rizhao contract a two year $600,000 agreement to provide consulting, training, and co‐management + an ongoing licensing agreement and annual quality assurance   

CWI included in Rizhao governance.   

Training and research cooperation agreement with the China Hospital Association and other hospitals to provide training/can use Rizhao as showcase and training centre 

A second agreement to develop a smaller facility in south China is being announced concurrent with the grand opening.    

Negotiations underway for additional facilities in Beijing and Taizhou.  


How did a community hospital in Winnipeg end up working in China 2011

Influential Chinese hospitals visit Seven Oaks Emergency Department to learn about research and innovations and also tour the Wellness Institute.  

Seven Oaks president Carrie Solmundson invited to speak at conferences in Hefei and Beijing

July 2014
35 hospital executives and China Hospital Association  attend 3‐day Wellness Institute symposium in Winnipeg and signed cooperation agreements to adapt the model for use in China.  

October 2014
2 hospitals including Rizhao sign joint facility agreements  

February 2015
Renovations begin in Rizhao, training plan for Winnipeg and Rizhao underway

April 2015 …
Fengwan Technologies proposes Hainan Facility

August 2015
Grand Opening for Rizhao, announcement of Hainan

more Calendar

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11/8/2017 » 11/10/2017
26th Annual International Conference

Pre-Conference Sitting for Facility Director and Medical Fitness Facility Director Credentials

Fellowship Reception *Private by Invite Only*

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