The Wellness Institute at Seven Oaks Hospital caught the attention of several hospital officials from China in a chance encounter a few years ago.
Over the course of about four years, that attention led to the complex arrangement whereby the hospital helped open a similar facility through a long-term development and management agreement with Rizhao Hospital, in a small resort city in the north of China on the Yellow Sea.
This week, Seven Oaks Hospital Chronic Disease Innovation Centre, the not-for-profit organization formed to support medical research in Winnipeg — and that operates Canada Wellness Institute, its international division — was selected as the winner of a business excellence award by the Canada China Business Council. The award recognized the centre’s inclusion of China in its business strategy.
The 80,000-square-foot centre in Rizhao, modeled after the Wellness Institute, opened in the summer of 2015.
The centre is continuing its work with the Rizhao pilot site, which has already expanded once and is in discussions with hospitals in other parts of China to create additional facilities.
Seven Oaks officials said the Rizhao facility continues to operate successfully and talks are ongoing with several other potential locations to develop in China, although none are imminent.