Dave Pedersen of the Great Plains Regional Medical Center board of directors would like a study of health and wellness opportunities in North Platte, and hopes the city council will lend a hand. Pederson told the council Tuesday that public and private facilities could be enumerated and described, to see what is available and what is needed. The goal is not only to update the recreation center, which is 30 years old and in need of repair, but to see what all is available and what is needed.
Pederson told the Bulletin the idea began a couple years ago, when the board of directors of the medical center was thinking about upgrading the hospital.
In August, the board authorized a $100 million expansion of the hospital, but ruled out a fitness center component.
But informal talks have continued between officials at the city, hospital, schools, college, chamber of commerce, major employers such as Union Pacific and Wal-Mart, and smaller employers as well, Pederson told the Bulletin in mid-September.
One goal is to make improvements without trampling on existing fitness centers, Pederson said.
The study would “figure out where the gaps are,” he said. He would like the council to request proposals to study the fitness needs.
“We need to find some way to take a comprehensive look at what have and find a way to coordinate the effort, to avoid duplication," he said.
“We’d like to see what else we need out there,” he has told the Bulletin. “We’d like to think it would make North Platte more attractive if we have a greater focus on wellness and recreation.”