Longevity movement brings Catalyst by Wellstar to partner with Bee Downtown

Wellstar Health System has partnered with Bee Downtown for an innovative program that will pair beehives with Wellstar Vinings Health Park in Smyrna. The project is funded by Catalyst by Wellstar.  This is the first healthcare system to join Bee Downtown's sustainability movement. Pictured is a Wellstar team member taking part in an educational bee hive tour.

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Wellstar Health System has partnered with Bee Downtown for an innovative program that will pair beehives with Wellstar Vinings Health Park in Smyrna. The project is funded by Catalyst by Wellstar. This is the first healthcare system to join Bee Downtown's sustainability movement. Pictured is a Wellstar team member taking part in an educational bee hive tour.

Sustainability is one of many key solutions in making a difference in the environment.

Wellstar Health System has embarked on a journey to change traditional health care. The health system has carved out the “first-of-its-kind global digital health and innovation center, Catalyst by Wellstar,” according to a recent statement.

“Wellstar has a historical lineage of innovation around clinical and technology,” said Dr. Hank Capps, executive vice president, chief information and digital officer of Wellstar.

“Our whole mission is to enhance the health and wellness of every person we serve. We have the strong belief that one of the things that would really change the future of healthcare was coming together and designing it with consumers as patients in mind,” he stated.

The impact of bees on communities surfaced as the Catalyst team garnered ideas that led to an opportunity to partner with Bee Downtown.

A fourth-generation beekeeper, Leigh-Kathryn Bonner founded Bee Downtown to “bring sustainable agriculture back into cities,” according to area manager Scottie McLeod. The for-profit installs and maintains beehives on corporate campuses across the southeast while providing educational connections.

In November of 2021 Bee Downtown installed three beehives at Wellstar Vinings Health Park in Smyrna that will promote Wellstar’s team member engagement, community enrichment and produce about 150 jars of honey in the first season.

“We have also partnered with Open Hand Atlanta so we could get that honey to people who don’t necessarily have access to all the kinds of foods that many of us do,” said Capps.

“Every third bite of food you eat is thanks to a pollinator. They’re incredible at reducing, reusing and recycling inside the hive, and then when it comes to teamwork and communication, they’re incredible and extremely efficient,” McLeod said in an email to the AJC.

There is “exponential growth in the colony right now. The queen has started laying about 1,500 eggs per day in each of those colonies,” said Bee Downtown founder and CEO.

“The bees that are on the Vinings campus are the mouthpiece in the city to link people back to agriculture, Bonner said. “Wellstar has been an amazing partner from the start and so excited about being on this journey with us.”

Being recognized for making a difference in a community “broadly” is equally important to Wellstar Health System.

“Just our three hives will have literally billions of pollination events. I think very strongly we all just have to jump in and start making a difference. This is a great example of that. This project is aligned so strongly with the core mission of Wellstar, it gets us so excited about the potential,” Capps said.


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