LONG PRAIRIE -- CentraCare Health is working on bringing a Regional Community Well-Being Center to Long Prairie next to the newly built hospital.

The 12,000 square-foot center will cost $4.5 million to build. Some of its key features will be a physical therapy gym, warm-water therapy pool, fitness studio, locker rooms, showers and a kitchen to help demonstrate healthy cooking. The hospital's Rehabilitation Department will also move into the Well-Being Center.

CentraCare has funded $1.3 million for the project and the remaining $3.2 million will come from a capital campaign. So far, two donors have already made contributions to the project. The Rosen Family Foundation has donated $250,000 and an anonymous donor has given $500,000. The anonymous donor is now challenging the community to raise an additional $500,000 in matching funds.

The Centers for Disease Control say rural Americans tend to have less nutritional diets, exercise less, weigh more and smoke more than their urban counterparts. CentraCare says they hope to change this trend by creating the center.

CentraCare Health wants to begin construction this June with the goal to have the Well-Being Center open in March 2019.

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