Bowdoin Street Health Center Is Expanding

The addition will provide community access and extra clinical space for expanded integrated mental health services.

Bowdoin Street Health Center, a community health center licensed under Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, which provides comprehensive primary and specialty care for more than 11,000 patients, is getting a makeover.

The 4,100 square foot renovation will include the addition of an exercise studio, weight room, physical therapy rooms, a demonstration kitchen for cooking classes, and expanded behavioral health services “to provide the resources and support people need to make healthy changes in their lives.”

Mayor Marty Walsh attended the groundbreaking and said that the health center plays an important role in the neighborhood.

“Bowdoin Street Health Center already plays a vital role in the daily life of this neighborhood,” Walsh said in a statement. “With these new resources, I am confident the health center will continue to lead the way.”

The Wellness Center will be the only facility of its kind in the community, according to reps, because it is designed to promote healthy eating, healthy cooking, and increased exercise for its health center patients, including infants, children, teens, adults, and seniors. The center’s renovation and expansion is expected to be completed by March 2015.

“The Wellness Center at Bowdoin Street Health Center will provide an accessible place where people of all ages can exercise, learn about healthy eating and receive the support they need to get healthy, stay healthy and improve the health of their families,” Adela Margules, the center’s executive director, said in a statement. “It will also provide a safe space, in a trusted setting, where neighbors can gather to work on common issues, including violence prevention.”

According to the statement:

The Wellness Center will build upon existing programs such as Fitness in the City for children who are at risk of obesity; the Healthy Food Access Program, which includes a farmer’s market; the Healthy Corner Store Initiative to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to local markets; and the Healthy Champions program where local youth create and manage a community garden and sell their produce at the farmer’s market to educate neighborhood peers and families about healthier eating habits.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center provided $1 million toward the $4 million cost of the Wellness Center. According to a statement by BIDMC reps, other key donors include Bowdoin Street Health Center, Inc., the family of BIDMC Director Ronald P. O’Hanley, the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation, Nancy H. and Clayton G. Deutsch, Boston Children’s Hospital, and the Boston Red Sox.