ASHTABULA — The Ashtabula County Medical Center’s Health and Wellness Plaza is getting a facelift complete with blue awnings and stone facades.

Work has been ongoing at the Lake Road plaza as part of ACMC's renovations on the building, which ACMC purchased for $1.8 million in January 2016. The latest endeavor will create a continuous facade across the front of the building.

"The (facade) will carry the 'look' of the Ashtabula Family Health Center throughout the remainder of the facade," said Tina Stasiewski, ACMC's vice president of business development.

Fresenius Medical Care, 2117 Lake Ave., is leasing 7,600 square feet at the plaza and plans to open a 15-chair dialysis and renal care service sometime this summer. The high incidence of diabetes in Ashtabula County, which can cause chronic kidney problems, made this an important service for county residents, according to ACMC officials.

Fresenius has 2,000 centers across the country. 

The Cleveland Dental Institute also has leased 7,600 square feet to open a 16-chair dental office in July, but officials didn't want to wait that long to see patients so they are operating out of a temporary location within the ACMC medical office building.

CDI’s mission is specifically to provide dental care to economically disadvantaged populations, and during ACMC’s last two community health needs assessments, dental care is always a top five need. 

ACMC President Micheal J. Habowski has said the main goal in partnering with CDI was to bring much needed dental care for all populations of the county and especially the pediatric population.

“A lot of times those patients have to be sent out of county," he said late last year. "By having this service now within our county it’s going to be a tremendous benefit to folks who couldn’t travel and therefore their dental needs went unmet. And when you’re talking pediatrics, the impact of that can be disastrous. If you don’t have quality dental care it can affect your development, how you do in school. ... We look at it as providing not just dental care but improving the quality of life.”

The agreement with CDI is a 10-year lease. CDI offers full dental services including, fillings, extractions, dental implants, cosmetic dentistry and eventually other dental surgery. In the past, ACMC has not had options for where to refer people with severe tooth infections.

CDI also is partnering with Ashtabula Area City Schools to offer dental services to students at the new Community Learning and Resource Center at Huron Primary School. In May, more than 100 students who had parental permission for dental checkups and treatments were ushered into a temporary dental office at the school, where digital X-rays were taken and teeth cleaning and exams were carried out by three CDI dentists.

 

The first phase of Lake Avenue plaza renovations, called Phase I, was the Ashtabula Family Health Center, a $4.2 million project at the south end of the building in 2017. The project covered 18,000 square feet and includes ACMC Express Care, radiology, lab and X-ray services. The facility sees almost 4,300 patients per month.

Phase 2 focused on relocating ACMC Regional Home Health into a space in the plaza known as ACMC Commons. 

Additional plans for the Commons include moving some hospital services in older buildings on campus, such as accounting, patient financial services, centralized scheduling and direct access scheduling, to more modern, cost effective spaces.

For many years, Premiere Fitness has occupied about 16,000 square feet in the plaza and offers new cardio equipment, weight machines, personal trainers, private lockers with showers and saunas, group fitness studio and indoor cycling studio. As part of ACMC, the fitness center offers a medical-based approach to health and wellness.  

Premiere Fitness also houses a full-service Aveda hair salon, offering hair extensions, waxing, pedicures and manicures — all by licensed professionals. 

About 30,000 square feet is left unaccounted for in the plaza, and ACMC is actively looking at options with other entities and moving additional hospital services out there.

Stasiewski said everything ACMC does is meant to focus on its mission to provide quality healthcare that positively affects the health of the community.