GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Deno Adkins has a really cool job! 

In simplest terms, he gets to go out and speak to people in the community about what they want when it comes to their healthcare and wellbeing. Then he takes that knowledge and turns it into something tangible. 

But it’s actually more complex than that. 

He’s been with Cone Health for 16 years after completing a hospital residency program at Cone: a graduation requirement for a master’s degree in business administration he received in 2003. 

Today, he’s the health system’s vice-president ambulatory network. Cone’s ambulatory network is essentially its network of outpatient services. The key components of this network are Cone’s five MedCenters. For more information on Cone’s MedCenters, click here.

“A MedCenter is all outpatient services,” Adkins told me recently during a visit to the soon-to-be-open Cone Health MedCenter Greensboro at Drawbridge Parkway. “A (traditional) hospital will have some outpatient services and primarily acute inpatient services.” 

In other words, patients won’t spend a night at the MedCenter unless they’re being observed in a MedCenter Emergency Room, and then it’s usually less than 23 hours. 

Adkins calls the new $97 million Drawbridge Parkway MedCenter, near North Battleground Avenue’s intersection with Interstate 840 or the northwestern section of Greensboro’s Urban Loop, Cone’s MedCenter “2.0.”  

It’s the result of months of exhaustive research within Northwest Greensboro and surrounding areas, assessing community needs and desires.  

“This is the future of healthcare and wellbeing—connecting those two services,” he said. 

First is the healthcare part. 

The Drawbridge facility will have a 24/7, 18-examination room emergency department staffed by at least two physicians or providers along with a nursing staff of at least four or five. 

It’s equipped to handle just about any medical emergency. 

Patients who end up needing overnight care, like those with severe injuries, are seriously ill or are suffering heart attacks or strokes, can be stabilized here before Cone transfers them via ambulance to one of its traditional hospitals. In this case, Moses Cone or Wesley Long.

But this place doesn’t stop at emergency care. 

In addition to outpatient cancer treatment services, including chemotherapy, the MedCenter will have offices for providers, specializing in primary care, orthopedics, OB/GYN and cardiology— among others. 

There are imaging services on-site as well as a pharmacy with a drive-through window which is on the bottom level of the 526-space parking deck designed so you can park on the same floor as the service you’ll receive. 

In other words, if you have an appointment with your cardiologist, and your cardiologist’s office is on the MedCenter’s second floor, you’ll park on the parking deck’s second level. 

“So a physician and the care team write you a prescription, you would leave the same level parking as your appointment, drive down the parking deck and pick up your prescription before you leave campus,” Adkins pointed out. 

But it’s hard to leave campus without noticing the well-being part of this place. 

“So our intent is that we would integrate with our medical community how best to take care of patients,” Adkins said. “And so imagine a provider writing an exercise prescription for their patients. We would monitor that and partner with them on a daily basis.” 

Hence, Sagewell Health and Fitness. The name combines the words “sage” (as in a wise person) and “well” (as in wellbeing) to describe a different type of fitness facility. And it’s all inside the MedCenter at Drawbridge. 

In many ways, it looks like any large fitness center—with a full range of weights and equipment.  

But upon joining Sagewell for a monthly fee Adkins calls competitive with other local fitness facilities, each client gets a free fitness assessment and an exercise “prescription” or plan that meets his or her needs.  

A staff member’s always on duty to help meet goals and introduce the equipment. Personal training’s available as are group fitness activities, including bike spin classes.

There’s an aquatics area that features a whirlpool and two swimming pools including one where you can swim laps under the watchful eyes of a lifeguard. 

In the gym area, members can enjoy pickleball, volleyball and basketball. 

In the MedCenter’s “play” area, babysitting and other learning activities are available for children at what Cone Health calls a “nominal fee.”  

There will also be a restaurant on site that will be open to the general public that serves nutritious meals as well as a teaching kitchen for organized cooking classes. 

Sagewell Health and Fitness is currently open. All other sections, including the emergency department, should be fully operational by late spring 2022.  

So the Cone Health MedCenter Greensboro at Drawbridge Parkway takes medical care out into the community. It reduces the strain on the emergency departments and other facilities within the Cone system. But again, it primarily connects healthcare and wellbeing. 

“We’ve seen health systems who’ve done a great job across the country build medical fitness facilities,” Adkins told me. “This is Cone’s commitment to literally connecting those services.” 

For more information on the MedCenter Greensboro at Drawbridge Parkway, click here.

For more information on Sagewell Health and Fitness, click here.