Wellness-related businesses in West Volusia — everything from spas and gyms to recreational activities and medical offices — are ready to help people recover from the coronavirus pandemic’s effects.
A key part of that effort will be the West Volusia Wellness Initiative Network (WIN), which officially launched in mid-April and will help the businesses market their services.
“Georgia Turner of the West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority — our partner in the initiative — and I hosted the first W.I.N. Facebook LIVE event on April 30 with a class demonstration at District Hot Yoga,” said Janet Wilson, executive director of the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce & Orange City Alliance.
No students were present, as the studio is currently closed and holding online classes only with all appropriate CDC guidelines being followed, Wilson said.
The Chamber and the Tourism Advertising Authority’s joint effort is designed to get all kinds of disparate, mostly health care-based, businesses and organizations into a unified conglomeration. Almost 180 businesses have signed up through either the Chamber or the tourism authority.
The idea of creating WIN actually came from Turner last year. The tourism authority was considering starting a page on its website devoted to wellness-related businesses and activities, similar to what it was already doing with its wedding portal.
“Health and wellness kept showing up,” Turner said when the initiative was announced last fall. “Volusia County is very committed to wellness, such as recreation trails and the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp. But gyms, spas and more also kept popping up. It’s good for visitors and residents alike.”
As the tourism authority began compiling its listings, Turner found a kindred interest with the DeLand Chamber. The two organizations decided to join forces.
Wilson said the Chamber’s network is sorted into broad categories: 57 health companies (medical-related providers); 34 wellness businesses (physical, social, emotional, occupational, environmental, intellectual or spiritual); 36 financial wellness providers; three wellness destination tourism companies; and 19 nonprofit entities.
In addition, the tourism authority has 27 wellness-related businesses on its roster, plus the three that are also listed on the Chamber’s network.
Members of the networks are listed on the websites of the respective organizations.
During April, the Chamber hosted virtual training classes for WIN providers on how to use the network, Wilson said. Member businesses and employees are receiving information on how to use the network in May, and the fully operational network will be ready for access on June 1.
Some health and wellness providers are currently operating as essential businesses, and others are standing by for the governor to allow reopening, Wilson said.
“When fully activated, the Chamber’s network will be ready to be accessed by our community to accomplish the mission of empowering West Volusia to live a wellness lifestyle — to get healthier, boost their immune systems, address financial concerns, and more,” she said. “With eight dimensions of wellness affected by this pandemic, the Wellness Initiative Network has providers who can help clients in all of those areas.”