Our Story

For decades, the Seven Oaks General Hospital has taken a vested interest in health promotion for its surrounding community. This commitment was reflected in the hospital’s original design, which included the Joseph Zuken Fitness Center.

The hospital’s commitment to health promotion supports the provincial government’s mandate of expanding community-based healthcare rather than the traditional concentration on institutional healthcare.

In the early 90s, the hospital identified the need to provide health promotion and disease prevention services in response to the aging population and the increasing incidence of lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Its 1991 Role Study suggested an opportunity to establish a community wellness presence to complement its role as a health resource provider.

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 role of fitness/ability in all health-related endeavours, the committee focused on creating a comprehensive program through which all community members would benefit from the hospital’s services and staff.

In 1993, as a result of this work, active consideration was given to developing a Health Promotion and Wellness Centre.

A new center would promote health and well-being in accordance with the views on health and wellness promotion held by the World Health Organization, the Canadian Hospital Association, provincial concerns, and the hospital’s strategic plan.

The hospital engaged the University of Manitoba to determine the feasibility of adding a health center to the hospital. In 1996, the Wellness Institute officially opened its doors and is now part of the Seven Oaks Hospital Campus, along with the Seven Oaks Foundation, and the Chronic Disease Innovation Centre.