The Benefits of Senior Living via St. Charles Project

One of the key elements of our proposed health and wellness village is a Serenity Quarter, which would provide senior living options. Main Line Health has found that there is a growing need for senior care in the Lower Merion and surrounding communities - for instance, the number of people over the age of 65 in Main Line Health’s service area is expected to reach 300,000 by 2023. As the Baby Boomer generation (individuals born between 1946 to 1964) continues to age, these individuals are interested in aging in areas where they have meaningful relationships and are active members of society. 

To help service this growing need of seniors, approximately 220 units will be dedicated to a mix of stand-alone villas, independent, assisted living, and memory care living options that will be associated with the existing Upper Campus building located on the northwest side of the campus. These proposed residential spaces will be created with the intention of embedding the “wellness generation” in a culture of health, wellness, activity, and engagement. Main Line Health believes that as Baby Boomers grow older in Lower Merion Township, they will seek highly amenitized spaces that can accommodate different living needs and models.  

In addition to being situated in close proximity to the proposed Main Line Health services, the concept plan is designed with an aging population in mind with programming ranging from senior enrichment classes to memory gardens. Programming focused on intellectual stimulation will keep seniors engaged in the community, and plenty of open, green space promotes a health-conscious environment that reduces the risk of chronic, preventable diseases. Movement centers, personal trainers, and wellness initiatives, as well as delivering great quality of care and rehabilitation, will attract older community members. Main Line Health is also committed to creating opportunities for social interaction in these residential spaces -- crucial to the wellbeing of aging adults, who are at a higher risk for depression and social isolation.

With an increasing demand for senior living, our proposed health and wellness village would provide comprehensive, exceptional healthcare near both housing and services for Baby Boomers residing in Lower Merion Township. The creation of the proposed mixed-use buildings will help facilitate meaningful social interactions in the community, which, when combined with access to services, amenities, and open space, will allow older adults in Lower Merion to live and thrive in their beloved community for years to come. 

Share your thoughts through our feedback page here.

Growing Medical Needs in Lower Merion Township

As we began our planning for the future use of the St. Charles campus, our research identified a growing need for medical care in Lower Merion Township. For instance, a recent Siemens Healthineers report analyzed over half a dozen national data sources found that Lower Merion Township is above the state and national average for occurrences of cancer (breast, lung, prostate, colon, and rectum) and physical inactivity as a risk factor for chronic conditions such as neurological diseases, cardiac disease, and COPD. At the same time, recent hospital closures in the market have created a need for more beds to ensure we have enough capacity to service their community. As a committed community partner, we believe that the proposed St. Charles campus will allow us to address these pressures thoughtfully so we can continue to serve the Lower Merion and surrounding communities, as we have for over a century.  

To accommodate this growing need, Main Line Health is seeking to expand by moving non-inpatient related services to the new campus, creating much needed space at Lankenau Medical Center to better meet the capacity needs of the community, to accommodate ever-changing technologies and to anticipate and respond to future trends in medicine. The proposed 650,000 square feet dedicated to non-inpatient medical use would be built in a phased approach and will be instrumental in establishing long-term stability for the health system and its ability to serve the Lower Merion Township and surrounding communities for years to come by continuing to offer innovative medicine, state of the art technologies, and providing the highest quality medical treatment. 

Located just steps away from Lankenau Medical Center, expanding Main Line Health’s high quality healthcare services onto the St. Charles campus will allow for more space and the neighboring location needed to further enhance the high-quality care provided by the hospital’s dedicated clinicians and staff. Additionally, the growing need for senior healthcare in Lower Merion Township (a projected 300,000 individuals over the age of 65 will be in Main Line Health’s care by 2023), can be effectively serviced with award-winning healthcare deeply rooted and conveniently located in the community.  

The St. Charles project will not only enhance the connection to care for a growing population of older adults seeking a healthy, active environment to live in, but to strengthen Main Line Health’s ability to continue to attract exceptional clinical team members. Through this proposed plan, Main Line Health will not only be able to provide outstanding care today but moving forward as we anticipate the future healthcare needs in our community.  

Do you rely on Main Line Health for your care? Let us know your thoughts in our latest survey here.  

The Benefits to Lower Merion Township of a Health & Wellness Village

Welcome to the first installment of Main Line Health’s new content series! These posts are meant to highlight specific aspects of our proposed project over time. Be sure to subscribe for weekly updates!

Main Line Health realizes that zoning changes will be needed to execute our exciting vision of transforming the St. Charles Campus into a health and wellness village designed to provide a place where community members can tap into multiple dimensions of wellness, and grow and thrive for years to come creating a community committed to holistic wellbeing. Health and wellness campuses are becoming a trend both nationally and internationally as people are being proactive and focused on living healthier lives to help minimize their risk of preventable chronic diseases. More importantly, Main Line Health needs to execute the proposed plan to continue to provide the level of care and service to the neighboring communities, both today and for years to come.

Previously, the St. Charles campus has not been utilized to its fullest potential in benefitting the lives of Lower Merion residents and surrounding communities. By responsibly developing this space through a phased approach, our goal is to create a destination for the community to live their best lives, find active pursuits, professional opportunities, and sustainable interests. By revitalizing the St. Charles Campus, we are hoping to encourage connections among community members who share a passion for living healthy and meaningful lives.

Our project is guided by several community-centric principles, including providing exceptional, innovative care now and in the future, promoting active living, and improving connectivity. A project guided by these goals will enrich the lives of Lower Merion Township residents and community members in a way that was not previously pursued on the St. Charles Campus. 

Provide Exceptional & Innovative Care

Located steps away from Lankenau Medical Center, migrating some non-inpatient services and supporting senior services onto the St. Charles Campus is the perfect setting to enhance the compassionate care provided by the hospital’s talented and dedicated clinicians and staff. Main Line Health and Lankenau Medical Center have served the community for over 150 years and are looking forward to continuing to provide award-winning care, recognizing the need to utilize a portion of the St. Charles campus to do so.

Main Line Health recognizes that the healthcare industry’s future will encompass addressing the entirety of population health to transform from a healthcare system that has historically focused on treating the sick, to keeping people healthy by promoting active lifestyles and healthy behaviors to help reduce the risk of chronic, preventable diseases. A health and wellness campus as laid out in our proposed plan would ensure enhanced and more accessible care for residents and a growing population of older adults. 

Promote Active Living

Promoting active living is a critical piece of the health and wellness village concept--active living can prevent the onset of preventable chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease, as well as foster healthy living in older adult populations.

Improve Connectivity

Our project sees the St. Charles property as a gateway to Lower Merion Township and we believe our thoughtful redevelopment of this property will complement the beauty of the township. By removing the barriers that have long isolated St. Charles from the larger community, the site has the opportunity to connect to the neighborhood through pedestrian walkways, tap into existing infrastructures such as the SEPTA train transit, and strengthen interactivity across Lancaster Avenue. The proposed plan includes a pedestrian bridge over Lancaster Avenue to connect the St. Charles campus to Lankenau Medical Center and dedicates 4.5 miles for pedestrian and bike paths that tap into the beauty and grandeur along the site.

Main Line Health is excited about the prospect of better servicing Lower Merion Township with a health and wellness village meant to foster healthy lifestyles and community connections. We’re interested in hearing your thoughts - what do you think your community needs the most? Let us know in our latest survey!

Update #4: Addressing Your Input

The Main Line Health team wants to thank the community for sharing their feedback with our team over the past several months. To date, we’re continuing to meet with members of various community groups to share our vision for this project and to better understand their needs and concerns for this space. We’ve heard your questions and concerns related to density and traffic in the area, native trees and nature preservation on the property, and stormwater management.

Main Line Health has instructed the design team to look for ways to reduce the density of the plan and relook at the number of residential units while still making the plan financially feasible given the amount of infrastructure needed to support the adaptive reuse of the two existing historic buildings. We are also looking into new ways to address traffic with the proposed project.

Our team is actively working to address these community concerns, and we appreciate your willingness to work with us through this process. Be sure to visit our website and FAQ page, which is continually updated based on the issues and interests raised by the community.

We Want to Hear from You! New Poll Launched.

Main Line Health has been meeting with members of the Lower Merion and surrounding communities over the past several months about our proposed plan for the St. Charles campus. As we continue to listen and incorporate your feedback, we have launched a new poll to gauge your perspective on the property improvements you are most excited to see through the St. Charles health and wellness village. 

Have other aspects of the project you are most excited about? Let us know your thoughts on our feedback page here.

We look forward to continuing to share aspects of our proposed plan and appreciate your input.

We’re Listening - Feedback for St. Charles Project / New Experience Page

Main Line Health and its partners would like to thank you for your interest in learning more about our proposed plan to develop the iconic St. Charles Seminary property into a vibrant and sustainable health and wellness village, which builds on multiple dimensions of wellness. 

Over the past several weeks, we have been meeting with residents of Lower Merion Township and surrounding communities to share more about our proposed plans, listen to their feedback and discuss ways in which we can shape our project. 

You may have also seen the Philadelphia Inquirer cover at a high level the proposed plans for the site. We encourage you to visit our Experience page to gain better insight into how the uses proposed in the Master Plan support Main Line Health’s vision of creating a health and wellness village that focuses on wellness, in addition to treating illnesses and medical conditions. 

You can also share your thoughts through our new poll on the Feedback page. We’re also continuing to add responses to frequently asked questions that we’ve heard, which can be found here.

This is one of many updates and polls that you will see as you visit the site. Thank you for your active participation in this feedback process.

Stay Updated!

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