Our Story

Seven Oaks Hospital (SOGH) has a history of interest in and commitment to health promotion for its surrounding community. This commitment was reflected in the hospital’s original design, which included the Joseph Zuken Fitness Center.

In the early 90s, the hospital identified the need to develop a strong role in community health and health promotion to complement further its major role as a health resource to the community.

The hospital’s commitment to health promotion was also in keeping with the provincial government’s mandate at the time, which encouraged an increased community focus on health care rather than the traditional concept of sick care.

In 1992, a Health Promotion and Wellness Committee was established to review the hospital’s role and make recommendations for program development. Recognizing the inherent function of fitness/activity in all health-related endeavours, the Committee developed a comprehensive program through which all community members would benefit from hospital services and staff.

In 1993, as a result of this work, a decision was made to develop a Health Promotion and Wellness Center at Seven Oaks Hospital. The hospital engaged the University of Manitoba to conduct a feasibility study for adding a health center. The public was extensively involved in the process, including planning and development to ensure that the center’s programs and services would reflect the views and needs of the community. The feasibility study concluded that a center for improving health and well-being is feasible for SOGH and in keeping with provincial, national, and international trends.

In October 1996, the Wellness Institute (WI) was opened as Canada’s first hospital-owned and operated medical fitness facility. Since opening, WI has provided the community with an innovative wellness model, emphasizing health enhancement and disease prevention. As a leader in lifestyle medicine, WI is committed to being at the forefront of the research, prevention and management of chronic diseases influenced by lifestyle factors. We have a longstanding reputation for quality and service and have received numerous awards for our work.