It's an emotional moment for Dr. David McAfee.
"If I start crying, don't blame me," says McAfee.
With the turn of a few shovels of dirt, Dr. McAfee's dream of a healthier South Mississippi is on its way to becoming a reality.
"What the vision was to begin with was simply better medicine," says McAfee. "It's a better medicine. We have known from time in memorial what is best medicine is nutrition and exercise."
In about one year's time, the plot of land off Richard Drive will be transformed into the 100,000 square foot e-Fitness and Wellness Center, a state of the art health and fitness complex for the whole family.
"It has a 16,000 square foot, twp story children's center," says e-fitness Membership Director Karen Waugh. "These kids will have a place to go play, exercise, have fun. Now, while the kids are exercising, the parents can go exercise. We'll have a hair salon, a spa, a beautiful wet area, sauna, steam, whirlpool. We'll have two indoor pools."
It will also be home to the Mississippi Wellness Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in 2002 to promote wellness.
"Currently Mississippi is the number one leader in our nation for obesity," says Foundation Executive Director Charlotte Daves. "And four out of 10 children are considered to be overweight, and this is as young as preschool. We're going to do our part to make a difference in that statistic here in Biloxi."
That's something Dr. McAfee and his management team say no pill can provide.
"I think we have an answer that's a big gap in our health care delivery system," says McAfee.
The facility will employ from 75 to 100 people. Eleven percent of the nearly $50 in monthly dues per person will benefit the Wellness Foundation and its outreach programs.
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