New Albany News

New health center named for Heit

By ThisWeek Community News  • 
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LORI WINCE/THISWEEKNEWS
New Albany's new community health center will be known as the Phillip Heit Center for Healthy New Albany, in honor of local fitness advocate Phil Heit.
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New Albany's new community health center will be named for local fitness advocate Phil Heit.

The 55,000-square-foot facility -- previously referred to as the Core, the New Albany Center for Community Health -- will be known as the Phillip Heit Center for Healthy New Albany.

New Albany City Council unanimously approved a resolution for the new name Jan. 21.

Heit founded the New Albany Walking Classic in 2004 and helped found the nonprofit organization Healthy New Albany through the New Albany Community Foundation in 2011.

Healthy New Albany now organizes the New Albany Walking Classic and has developed a farmers market, a community garden, a lecture series and a health-related magazine for city residents.

Heit said that after retiring as a professor at the Ohio State University, he tried to wear several hats. To demonstrate, he tried on several hats during the Jan. 21 City Council meeting and received laughs from the more than 50 people in attendance.

Heit said the hat he chose and the one that fits him best has New Albany's ZIP code embroidered on it.

"This is the hat I found that really fit," he said. "I found it could fit all people. It doesn't only fit me."

Heit and his wife, Sheryl, recently donated $1 million to the community health center, which is under construction on land donated by the New Albany Co. at the northwest corner of Village Hall and Johnstown roads.

Tracy Ingram, Healthy New Albany's executive director, said the money would be used to "continue the legacy of health in our community that was started 10 years ago by Phil Heit when he founded the New Albany Walking Classic and Healthy New Albany as an organization.

"All donations to Healthy New Albany will grow the programming and initiatives offered to the community with the goal to help people improve their health and their future."

Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center will lease 38,000 square feet for personalized health care and injury prevention. The Wexner Medical Center will work with Integrated Wellness Partners to manage a fitness facility and a three-lane therapeutic pool.

Nationwide Children's Hospital will lease 8,500 square feet for an "orthopedic clinic, sports medicine clinic, functional rehabilitation, injury prevention, concussion management, training optimization and other services for children and adolescents," according to city spokesman Scott McAfee.

The first floor of the facility is expected to include 6,000 square feet managed by Healthy New Albany. It will include community rooms and a demonstration kitchen, McAfee said.

The health center is expected to cost $12.25 million and is being funded by bonds the city issued and a $500,000 contribution from Ohio State. Bonds will be repaid through a leasing agreement with the tenants, city officials have said.

The building is expected to open late this year, McAfee said.

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