Good Samaritan, Echo Street West and YMCA of Metro Atlanta Join Forces to Improve the Quality of Life in English Avenue

Staff Report

Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

On Saturday, April 30th, Good Samaritan Health Center (Good Sam), the YMCA of Metro Atlanta and Echo Street West will celebrate the grand opening of The Market Pavilion and Wellness Center located on Good Sam’s campus on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway in Atlanta’s English Avenue neighborhood. Residents, donors and community members are invited to mark the noteworthy occasion with a ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration.

On average, English Avenue residents in the 30318 and 30314 ZIP codes have a life expectancy that is 13 years less than their neighbors up the road. The five key determinants of health – healthcare, education, economic stability, social and community context, and neighborhood and environment – have historically been less accessible for these residents and can predispose the uninsured population to adverse health outcomes. To change the narrative, Good Sam, the YMCA of Metro Atlanta and Echo Street West are pulling together to create a more equitable, just and healthy lifestyle for English Avenue residents by offering direct access to fresh food, approachable exercise and open-air retail and recreational space. 

Good Sam works to provide high quality medical, dental, mental health, specialty and health education services to individuals and families in English Avenue. On its newly renovated campus, Good Sam operates The Farm, a one-acre urban farm, and hosts The Market, a farmers market that runs throughout the spring, summer and fall. While The Market has been open to the public for nearly ten years, its customers were limited to Good Sam’s patients and guests due to its previous location. Now, the new Market Pavilion meets guests on the street, creating more visibility and accessibility for the neighborhood with the hopes to mitigate health imbalances via access to fresh food and approachable exercise. 

“After a two year delay due to the pandemic, we are extremely excited to formally open and dedicate these new spaces in service to our patients and neighbors. In our more than twenty years of service to the Metro Atlanta community, we have seen firsthand that health is about so much more than just the ability to see a doctor,” said Dr. Bill Warren, Founder, CEO and Pediatrician at Good Samaritan Health Center. “The Market Pavilion and the Y at Good Sam are testaments to our continued commitment to providing the Full Circle of Health to those in need.”

The newly opened Wellness Center, operated by the YMCA of Metro Atlanta, offers state-of-the-art fitness equipment, including treadmills, ellipticals, recumbent bikes, Pelotons, strength training equipment and group fitness classes to Good Sam’s patients and area residents. The Y will also launch additional programming in May, including healthy eating classes, a weekly walking group and outdoor boot camps. 

“The Fitness Center at Good Sam is a continuation of our steadfast commitment to improving our community’s health and well-being,” said Lauren Koontz, president and CEO of the YMCA of Metro Atlanta. “Through this partnership with Good Sam, our organizations will provide patients and community members with access to fitness amenities and health services to encourage and promote healthy living.”

A short walk from the Good Sam campus down the Westside BeltLine Connector is Echo Street West, a 19-acre mixed-use destination currently under construction. Once complete, the mixed-use village will introduce new amenities for Good Sam patients and the community to experience, like direct access to the Atlanta BeltLine, open-air gathering spaces, unique shops and restaurants, and public art. When envisioning the project, developer Lincoln Property Company (Lincoln) launched the Echo Street West Partnership to support local organizations through youth development, health and wellness, job training and community needs. This spring, Lincoln’s employees and 20 of its office properties collected nearly 6,000 supplies, including women’s sanitary items, toothbrushes and healthy snacks, to create hygiene kits that will be distributed to Good Sam’s patients. 

Also through the Echo Street West Partnership, DPR Construction, the general contractor for Echo Street West’s office component, donated time and resources, along with Brent Scarborough & Co and Davis Landscape, to reset the corner lot adjacent to the Market Pavilion by cleaning up debris and unstable sidewalks, regrading the site, planting grass, resetting the fencing and installing an ADA ramp to make the Market more accessible. The new greenspace will feature a fire pit and additional gathering areas for the community. 

“The Echo Street West Partnership was established in the spirit of being a good neighbor, and we want to connect our project partners to charitable organizations by supporting those on the Westside that provide helpful services to those in need,” said Tony Bartlett, executive vice president at Lincoln Property Company. “Both Good Sam and the YMCA are committed to bettering the community with access to fresh, affordable food, quality healthcare and fitness equipment and classes for English Avenue residents. The importance of creating places for people to connect and live a healthy lifestyle is paramount and we hope to continue the positive growth across the street at Echo Street West with new amenities for the neighborhood.” 

Westside Motor Lounge at Echo Street West, a new indoor-outdoor bar, restaurant and entertainment-driven hotspot opening in June, will have its food truck onsite to donate food and drinks at the grand opening of The Market Pavilion and Wellness Center. The event will be held on Saturday, April 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1015 Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway and will include tours of the new spaces and The Market at Good Sam, an onsite farmers market providing affordable fruits, vegetables and other pantry staples.