CarePlus Community Center Celebrates Grand Opening
by James Coulter
Are you over 55 years old and looking for ways to remain healthy and happy this summer? Then stop on by the CarePlus Community Center in Winter Haven, where you can step in time at an aerobics class, play some chess or other board games, or learn about healthy living in an educational seminar.
Located at the Colonial Promenade along Cypress Garden Boulevard, the CarePlus Community Center is a facility geared toward seniors and open to the public, where CarePlus members and non-members can congregate for social activities and events, participate in classes and seminars, and learn about CarePlus plans and insurance options. They can gather together, socialize over board games, and even get in shape in Silver Sneaker program exercise classes.
“So it is a safe space where not only members but seniors throughout Polk County can come and get information to enjoy themselves and really take advantage of the community aspect,” said Chris Bellersen, Senior Sales Manager.
The new facility was constructed in Polk County to facilitate the great number of CarePlus members who reside in the county. With more than 27,000 members living Polk County, Winter Haven is in the very center of where many CarePlus members reside, which made it the most opportune location for CarePlus to open their new facility.
“If we look in Polk County geographically, Winter Haven is dead center in the middle of the county which allows everyone to access the facility whether you live in Lake Wales, Davenport, Lakeland, Bartow, you can take advantage of this community center and the resources available here.”
Since 2000, CarePlus has been providing affordable healthcare plans that, according to its website, “are dedicated to improving the lives of our members by providing the support and care they deserve to help them achieve and maintain active and independent lives.”
CarePlus services more than 211,000 members throughout Florida and 27,000 in Polk County, making it the largest county that they serve. For that reason, they decided to open their first community center in Winter Haven, said Bruno Piquin, CarePlus President.
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services awarded them five stars, the highest possible for a Medicare advantage plan over the past four years. In addition, they have also been awarded the Excellence in Quality Award for the Quality Alliance for the last three years. Piquin owes its success to their focus on quality.
“None of this would be possible without us partnering with primary care physicians and other healthcare providers that are caring for this community,” he said. “Our success starts with them being successful first. Make sure that there is adequate delivery of all the services that we provide and access to the services as well.”
CarePlus celebrated the grand opening of its community center on Tuesday morning. Attendees could tour the facility and its amenities, including a live Silver Sneakers aerobics class. They could also enjoy free food provided by Subway, participate in raffles for various door prizes, and even meet Marilyn Monroe and Elvis—or rather, their impersonators.
Florida State Representatives Sam Killibrew and Colleen Burton attended the ceremony that morning. He was surprised by the overwhelming number of CarePlus members in Polk County, and he was overall impressed by the new community center.
“When we first came in, this was community plus service inside here,” he said. “This is very inviting. This will get a lot of use. So we are very proud that you all are here.”
Colleen Burton currently chairs the Health and Human Services Committee in the Florida House. As someone whose work primarily centers around healthcare, she knows that healthcare is best provided by the neighborhood, and she expects the new community center to provide exactly that to its local community.
“Getting people through the door into a community service for this firm and others and places where people can convene, we know it enhances health in so many ways,” she said.“CarePlus has decided to invest here in Polk County it has been well received…What is important to me about this center is that it is in the community.”
The CarePlus Community Center is located at 313 Cypress Gardens Blvd, Winter Haven, FL 33884. For more information, call 800-204-3123, or visit their website at: careplushealthplans.com