Jacksonville’s Visionaries Develop for Wellness

Concept drawings for the proposed District in San Marco

Concept drawings for the proposed District in San Marco

When you think about America’s healthiest destinations … Jacksonville isn’t exactly the first place that comes to mind.

In fact, the First Coast ranked thirty-fifth in the latest American Fitness Index – an annual data report that assigns scores to cities based on preventive health behaviors, and levels of chronic disease conditions, as well as community resources and policies that support physical activity. Despite ranking among the bottom fifteen metropolitan areas, there is evidence that suggests the 904’s health is on the rise. A handful of visionary hospitals, developers and entrepreneurs are capitalizing on Jacksonville’s abundant resources, hoping to establish the city as a lifestyle destination.

Emerging as a Medical Destination
An extraordinary network of world-class healthcare facilities call Jacksonville home, including Ackerman Cancer Center, Baptist Health, Brooks Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic, Memorial

Gresham Smith and Partners’ new downtown offices

Gresham Smith and Partners’ new downtown offices

Hospital, Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, St. Vincent’s HealthCare, UF Health Jacksonville, and Wolfson Children’s Hospital. With dozens of private complementary and alternative medicine practices integrated into the local healthcare system, with increased access, revamped marketing efforts and strong leadership, Jacksonville has the potential to be a leading medical destination.
Approximately twenty thousand patients come to Jacksonville from other cities in Florida annually, and another twenty thousand fly in from out of state. By increasing access to the city’s world-class facilities, there is an enormous opportunity to capture a greater portion of the thirty-eight million people who live within a one-hour flight range. The Jacksonville Aviation Authority recently announced they are committed to championing the growth of medical tourism in Jacksonville by focusing on marketing and strategic partnerships.
Marketing could play a key role in helping Jacksonville establish itself as a medical destination.

Mary Lyn Jenkins, owner of Big Fish Yoga Studio

Mary Lyn Jenkins, owner of Big Fish Yoga Studio

Many cities across South America and Mexico have had success marketing their beaches, resorts, and medi-spas, drawing in affluent, highly educated tourists. No longer just a discreet way for the rich and famous to get a nip-and-tuck while “on vacation,” today medical tourism is a $60 billion global industry for sick patients who are willing to travel to receive treatment. These patients are motivated by a desire for lower costs, higher quality, and better access to care.

Read MoreArticle written by Rachel Roberts

Author: Arbus

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