For two decades, Penny and Bill George and the George Family Foundation have been committed to advancing complementary, integrative, and holistic healing practices within the U.S. healthcare system. The Georges have helped to transform how Americans approach and access spirit-mind-body and community healing through co-founding projects such as The Penny George Institute at Allina Health, the largest integrative medicine facility in the U.S., and underwriting the Catalyst Initiative, programming that provides culturally significant healing practices to often marginalized communities.
The YMCA shares The George Family Foundation mission to serve the whole-being through spirit-mind-body and community programming, therefore they co-created the George Wellbeing Center at the Douglas Dayton YMCA at Gaviidae in downtown Minneapolis, a first-of-its-kind facility serving all. Penny George, co-founder of The George Family Foundation, summarizes this partnership beautifully, “Our hope is to create a healthier America through the Wellbeing Center because a lot of services and programming are not reaching far enough into underserved communities and the Y has so much reach that we feel we can really offer services these communities have never had before.”
The George Wellbeing Center is an innovative model integrating wisdom from restorative practices of the spa industry and healing practices of the integrative healthcare industry to create a much-needed wellbeing industry. The George Wellbeing Center creates a space for people to prevent and address chronic health symptoms through evidence-based, one-on-one and group healing services that are often underutilized in the conventional healthcare system. Through self-care practices, clients explore deeper dimensions of wellbeing, such as restoration, spiritual health and mindfulness while fostering a healing community.
“We see a tremendous opportunity for innovation at the Y. There’s so much more that needs to be done in wellbeing and keeping people healthy. The mindfulness revolution is taking over America. Where do you go to learn about mindfulness? Where can you take a meditation class? We see the Y as a perfect place to do that,” said Bill George.