Restaurant to join Memorial Health System’s Belpre campus

BELPRE — Construction on the Memorial Health System’s Belpre campus is continuing, with a new building and new offerings on the way.

Part of that growth will include a restaurant called The Changed Plate, which focuses on healthy eating, according to Jennifer Offenberger, director of marketing.

“We have a philosophy of wellness and ‘health’ is our middle name. Our goal is also to work with the community on prevention and we want to change the discussion about health and wellness,” she said.

The restaurant will move into a building currently under construction next to the free standing emergency room in Belpre. Doctors Nicholas Mezitis and Puneetpal Bains with the department of endocrinology will also move their offices into the facility, along with the Diabetes Education department.

The services are expected to start moving into the building at the end of this month and will be staggered in opening. The restaurant is expected to open by late summer.

“It will be convenient for our patients to have all of these services under one roof,” Offenberger said.

The Changed Plate will focus on teaching patients and their families how to cook and eat in a healthy way, which is something that is critical in dealing with diseases such as diabetes and cancer, Offenberger said.

Chef Ryan Grasley will implement a menu that incorporates local food sourcing and will promote sustainability. There will be other positions to fill once the building gets closer to completion.

Cooking classes will be offered and the restaurant will be open to the general public, with hours pending.

“This is the first opportunity we’ve had to take this kind of approach,” Offenberger said.

“We are caring for patients who are coming from farther away and Belpre really is a centralized location.”

Karen Waller, executive director of the Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce, said she feels that Belpre is no longer on the outskirts but is now a hub of activity.

“We are open for business,” she said. “We are actually looking into several developments of clinics outside of that (Memorial) property. We want everyone to be part of the community and there are several opportunities for the subsidiaries that a medical clinic provides.”

Waller said that one focus of the chamber now is figuring out how to provide an available and trained workforce in the medical and information technology fields, as well as trades.

Mayor Mike Lorentz said he is pleased with the partnership the city and the hospital have established.

“Anytime you can provide services that people need, it’s a good thing,” he said.

“It’s been remarkable, the growth we’ve seen in eight years and it is still growing and still bringing jobs to Belpre.”

Memorial Health System broke ground on the expansion of the Belpre medical campus in April 2013. The opening of Building Two added a $25 million, 25,000-square-foot facility to house medical offices and an emergency department. In 2015, another 25,000-square- foot educational facility was added.

Offenberger said there is more growth in the works and details would be coming at a later date.