WellnessWorks: Just What The Doctor Ordered

Jennifer Salopek, Freelance Writer
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White Oak floors and Baltic birch wall panels lend warmth to the clean, modern design of the reception area. Wool-covered acoustic baffles were placed in the hallway to provide sound absorption, while the ceiling was left open for ease of maintenance. WellnessWorks: Just What The Doctor Ordered Laser-cut screens of MDF line the hallways.

After trying to work from home and realizing it wasn’t for him, Vicrum Puri and his wife, Rachel, opened BrooklynWorks in 2012. The 25,000-square-foot co-working space in Brooklyn, N.Y., offers leasable small offices and meeting rooms as well as shared reception, billing, and appointment-booking services.

Soon after, Puri says he began getting requests from health and wellness practitioners who heard about the venture and were requesting a similar setup. “There are huge barriers to entry into private practice, especially real estate costs,” Puri says. “Doctors and wellness practitioners are underserved in the co-working environment.”

Seeing an opportunity, the Puris opened WellnessWorks at Trinity Center in New York’s Flatiron District in October 2017. With Manhattan office rents averaging $75 per square foot, WellnessWorks’ medical co-working space is a flexible and affordable option for solo and part-time practitioners, without an enormous real estate leasing investment.

Designed by Opera Studio Architecture (New York) and constructed by Bar Construction Corp. (Long Island City N.Y.), the 15,000-square-foot suite includes 50 private offices ranging from 80 to 500 square feet. Thirty offices are available for full-time rental, while 10 are dedicated to daily use and another 10 booked by the hour. Shared common areas include a reception area, full kitchen, and two large rooms for group sessions or meetings, which are also available to the public for rent.

The modern office space features neutral tones of bright white and brown, including white oak hardwood floors and clear-coated Baltic birch accents. A repeating hexagon pattern, which echoes that found in honeycomb or organic molecules, is a prominent design detail located on laser-cut screens that front the reception desk, the glass walls of the kitchen and session room, and the interior corridor walls.

“We wanted a feel that was funky and modern, yet warm and welcoming,” Puri says.

Current tenants, who are known as members, include primary care and specialty physicians, therapists, acupuncturists, and massage therapists. Members, who pay a monthly fee, book the office space through a proprietary mobile platform and services provided include reception and check-in, payment processing, call handling, appointment booking, and insurance verification.

Patients check in at the reception desk, where their insurance is processed and any co-payments are collected, alleviating practitioners from having to handle this process themselves. A recessed niche in the reception area serves as a waiting space, while smaller seating areas with couches are located in the hallways.

All rooms have soundproofed solid walls and doors for privacy, while the medical rooms feature exam tables and handwashing sinks. Supplies, as well as furnishings for the nonmedical rooms, are the tenants’ responsibility.

More than 50 percent of available memberships have been sold, Puri says, adding that in the future, he plans to add patient onboarding, electronic health and medical record management, legal, and credentialing services.

“Our goal is an end-to-end solution for our members, so they can focus on their clients,” he says.

WellnessWorks: Just What The Doctor Ordered