ORLANDO – On Friday, February 10, GuideWell and Florida Blue President and CEO Pat Geraghty was joined by community leaders from the City of Orlando, Lift Orlando, AdventHealth, Orlando Health, Dr. Phillips Charities and others to officially cut the ribbon for the new Heart of West Lakes Wellness Center in Orlando (located at 710 S. Tampa Ave, Orlando, FL 32805). This $13.5 million collaboration project, which originally broke ground in June 2021, will provide convenient access to holistic health, financial, and lifestyle services all under one roof.
The state-of-the-art, 30,000 sq. ft., center was intentionally designed to combat deep-rooted healthcare disparities in historically Black neighborhoods near Camping World Stadium called The Communities of West Lakes in Orlando’s 32805 zip code. Approximately 3,500 residents call the area home.
“It’s incredibly rewarding to see this initiative come to life! This building, and the services offered within its walls, will increase access to health care for the entire West Lakes Community. We are extremely proud to be a partner in this effort. We provided $2 million towards the construction of the Heart of West Lakes Wellness Center and contributed an additional $350,000 toward the build out of a Florida Blue Center located inside. That center will offer free fitness, wellness, and nurtirition classes, face-to-face help with accessing community services, finding a local doctor or specialist, and other health/insurance support” said GuideWell and Florida Blue President and CEO Pat Geraghty.
The new center will now become the cornerstone of the $100M West Lakes Community Campus, which includes Pendana at West Lakes, 200 units of mixed-income apartment homes and 120 affordable senior apartment homes, the innovative West Lakes Early Learning Center, the Jacqueline Bradley & Clarence Otis Family Branch of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, and Lake Lorna Doone Park.
Additionally, the center will serve as an economic engine for the community, create approximately 40 full-time jobs, & be the home to the new Florida Blue Center Orlando West Lakes location scheduled to open later next month (March 2023).
In 2019, as part of their Growing Resilient Communities initiative, GuideWell and Florida Blue began investing efforts into impacting the critical drivers of health in five zip codes in four major markets across the state (Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, and Orlando). The zip code selected for the Orlando/Central Florida Region was 32805, which is the area the West Lakes Community resides. Since its inception, Florida Blue and our Florida Blue Foundation have contributed more than $8 million into these communities.
To learn more about the Heart of West Lakes Wellness Center, visit: www.heartofwestlakes.com