Business & Project Development


We would like to extend our sincerest thanks and appreciation for the unyielding effort IBIS devoted to developing this challenging partnership project. IBIS enabled our three organizations to make The Fitness Complex a reality for our community. This unprecedented partnership involving a college, hospital and a park district helped our organizations achieve our collective and individual goals.”

-Peter Murphy, President
Franciscan Alliance - St. James Hospital
Chicago Heights, Illinois

-Paul McCarthy, President
Prairie State College
Chicago Heights, Illinois 

-David Gonzalez, Superintendent
Chicago Heights (Illinois) Park Distric


Community Health / Wellness / Fitness Partnerships

To address our national health crises such as adult and childhood obesity, diabetes, other preventable chronic diseases and overall improved health quality, community healthcare, parks and recreation, municipalities  and other  private and public community  organizations are seeking collaborative strategies that deliver consumer-centered, value-based healthcare, health & wellness services with measurable outcomes.   

Population health/disease management has become the new term that describes healthcare providers and other government, recreation and municipal entities working proactively and collaboratively with a defined segment of the population in an effort to address health risks, and overall well-being.   

Some interesting statistics:
·       More than two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese
·       Nearly 8 in 10 seniors are living with one chronic illness and 50 % have two or more
·       About half of US adults have at least one of the major risk factors for heart disease or stroke​

                    Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

Communities and healthcare organizations need to work collaboratively to address these national health issues through prevention, wellness and recreational programs, services and multi-generational, all -inclusive facilities.  Healthcare and developing healthy lifestyles do not only occur in our hospitals and physicians’ offices.  It occurs in everything that we do: where we live, where we work and where we play.  Prevention and wellness and encouraging people to be healthy begins at the community grass roots level.  Community organizations such as school districts, healthcare providers, colleges and universities, municipalities and parks and recreations departments have tremendous potential to create healthier communities.   

Implementing an integrated public-private strategy with an emphasis on prevention and wellness to meet the challenging demands of consumer-driven community services for all ages is critical.  Programs, services and facilities need to be developed for teens, seniors, people with intellectual and physical disabilities and other groups tailored to specific community needs.  

To determine specific amenities, community-wide information gathering through one-on-one interviews, focus groups, surveys and meetings are key components to consider during the initial planning phases. The community goal should encompass being as all-inclusive as possible to provide health and wellness, recreational and leisure activities in a cost-effective manner to address improved health quality resulting in improving the health status of the community. 

Our focus has always been to create multi-generational facilities with programs and services which address a variety of community needs.  As an example, based on personal family experiences with people with intellectual and physical disabilities, we insure that this demographic group is included with the other obvious multi-generalization population segments in all of our projects. 

In 2000, we developed theSt. James Health & Wellness Institute in Chicago Heights, Illinois, a diverse socio-economic community. Three community partners: St.James Hospital, Prairie State College and the Chicago Heights Park District began the journey to change healthcare behaviors with a 72,000 square foot community health partnered center.  Today, with over 6,600 members, this community center continues to offer wellness,prevention, disease management, rehabilitation, fitness and recreation programs. They have made a difference in the quality of health in their community.


The Buffalo Grove Fitness Center, Buffalo Grove, Illinois was developed as a community partnership between the Buffalo Grove Park District and Northwest Community Healthcare and resulted in the development of a 72,000 square foot health & fitness center.  This center offers wellness programs for all ages of the community. Since opening in September 2000 this center has experienced continued growth in all areas.  In 2007, an 8,000 square foot expansion included Sports Performance Training programs and a full service spa.

Opened in 2012, the Choice Health & Fitness Center, Grand Forks, North Dakota, exemplifies a true community partnership with 15,000 members.  The Grand Forks Park District, Altru Health System and the Altru Family YMCA worked cooperatively to develop this 162,000 sf facility, offering health & wellness, recreation, disease management, spa and retail services developed in response to the needs of the community. 

The first step begins with a comprehensive business plan which includes:       
     Identifying potential community private and public partners      
     Conducting a thorough market feasibility assessment, including consumer research through meetings, interviews, surveys & focus groups·       
     Developing ownership & financing options·       
     Establishing capital and operations budgets to develop ancillary revenue through corporate naming rights and leasing space  ·       
     Identifying  and developing other key community needs to address the specific market issues ·       
     Determining other factors that need to be considered to insure a successful  “wow experience” project


These community partner projects serve as one of many tools that can assist healthcare providers and community leaders with addressing quality of health, reduce healthcare costs,conserve and combine community resources, improve consumer satisfaction and contribute to the community’s economic development goals.