Brock Students to Help Seniors Keep Fit Through New Partnership

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 by Maryanne Firth (originally on Brock University website)

While the quest to stay healthy and fit can come with its challenges at any age, a new set of obstacles tend to appear as people get older.

Health issues creep in, movement gets difficult and flexibility becomes limited.

But through a new commercial partnership, Brock University wants to help Niagara seniors take on those hurdles — and, in the process, study what works to keep them healthy.

The University is collaborating with Wellness Suites Condominiums to expand the SeniorFit and Heart Strong programs already offered at the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being in St. Catharines. The partnership will see Brock Kinesiology and Health Sciences students guiding senior residents of the Niagara Falls development through personalized exercise and rehabilitation programs on a path to healthy living.

Currently under construction, the nine-storey Wellness Suites facility includes 97 residential units, a 5,500 square-foot Functional Medicine Centre designed to house Brock’s programs, and numerous other amenities. The $31-million Main Street project is slated for completion in September 2019.

While the Faculty has partnered with health and government agencies, as well as non-governmental and community organizations in the past, this entrepreneurial exercise is unique for Brock, said Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Dean Peter Tiidus.

“This is a win-win situation,” he said. “It takes us out into the community, gets students working with more local seniors and provides additional research opportunities in an important health field.”

The partnership will provide valuable experiential education opportunities for students who are pursuing careers in rehabilitation, medicine, physiotherapy, kinesiology and other health-care professions, allowing them to develop skills by working in real-life situations.

It will also allow Brock researchers to study how the facility’s “personalized medicine” programs, which include assessing cognition, nutrition, genetics, hormones, bodily toxins and the microbiome of the gut, impact residents, said Wellness Suites President Dr. Nick Vaccaro.

“We will offer the latest, most innovative services and technology to help take care of people and to study how to keep them young as they’re getting older,” he said.

The Functional Medicine Centre will use bioinformatics — a field of science that combines biology, computer sciences, mathematics and statistics to analyze and interpret biological data — to assess and monitor the progress of clients, and see which lifestyle modifications are most effective.

“It’s an ideal fit for a graduate student project that would then be potentially publishable in a credible journal,” Tiidus said.

Deborah O’Leary, Health Sciences Professor and Director of the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being, is working with Vaccaro to design the space and determine the fitness and research-related equipment required for the facility.

“Nick is building his vision, but he’s using Brock expertise to help him along the way,” she said.

“As the current SeniorFit and Heart Strong programs have already been successful — helping 450 clients a year with health-related goals — it’s a matter of expanding and introducing those programs in the new facility,” Vaccaro said. “We want to grow with the University and expand research parameters into the genetic, molecular and cellular levels. We are currently working at partnering with other highly innovative diagnostic companies.”

Wellness Suites is providing the capital, infrastructure and equipment for the project, with Brock providing its expertise and a co-ordinator for the physical rehabilitation centre and integration with other researchers at Brock.

“This is something that may lead to great collaborations with a similar model being used elsewhere in Niagara and beyond,” Tiidus said. “We’re excited to expand the offerings of the Health and Well-Being Centre for clients, for students and for researchers.”

Vaccaro has a long history of working with faculty members at the University during his 35-year career as a chiropractor in Niagara.

“I’ve had this vision to partner with Brock for a long time — decades — and now’s the time,” he said.

Details of Brock’s programming at the facility are expected to be finalized by the end of 2018. For more information visit

Wellness Suites Developments and Cloud DX Announce Partnership

August 14, 2018 Kitchener, ON- Cloud DX, Inc., a Canadian leader in the digital healthcare industry, is pleased to announce that they have formed a partnership with Wellness Suites Developments which also includes an agreement to equip the Niagara Falls Wellness Suites Condominium site with their award-winning Connected Heath Platform offering residents access to in-house telemedicine, health monitoring, and coaching services. “We are delighted to be partnering with Wellness Suites Developments with the implementation of our technology in a residential setting,” said Robert Kaul, CEO, and Founder of Cloud DX. “This partnership addresses the growing demand for personalized healthcare and precision medicine. The innovative vision of Dr. Vaccaro is very exciting and we look forward to a long-term relationship with Wellness Suites”. “We are very pleased to announce this partnership with Cloud DX as it enables us to provide both our residents and patients with an innovative product that addresses a medical need,” said Dr. Nick Vaccaro, Founder and President of Wellness Suites Developments. “The Increasing demand for personalized medicine and advancements in new healthcare technologies is driving the development of precision medicine. The Cloud DX technology will allow our in-house medical team to instantly track any changes in an individual’s health and upload this information onto the cloud facilitating enhanced inter-professional collaboration and communication. We look forward to working closely with Cloud DX as we continue to execute on our strategy of expanding the Wellness Suites brand on a national scale.” Under the terms of the Agreement, Cloud DX will supply residents with their Health Canada-licensed Connected Health system, which includes a custom tablet computer, precision blood pressure monitor, wireless weight scale, blood oxygen meter, and thermometer. Software on the tablet enables video & text conversations with care providers. Vital sign data is collected seamlessly and is immediately available to the care team in the secure clinical web portal. All Cloud DX devices meet strict Canadian data privacy rules, and all personal health data is secured and encrypted by Cloud DX in Canada. Wellness Suites will be the first residential condominium facility in Canada to offer in-house healthcare monitoring in real time as well as telemedicine to each of its residents. A particular focus will be on the development of the Wellness Suites’ custom medical data management software that will serve as the platform of residents’ and patients’ centralized medical record. ABOUT CLOUD DX Cloud DX provides remote patient monitoring hardware, software, and personalized services to forward-looking physicians, hospitals and Provincial/Territorial health departments across Canada. The Cloud DX Connected Health products are invented and developed in Kitchener ON and Team Cloud DX won the Bold Epic Innovator Award in the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE. Cloud DX is endorsed by Joule, a Canadian Medical Association company; it is the recipient of multiple awards for innovation including “World Changing Idea” from Fast Company magazine. For more information please visit

Niagara This Week Article on Wellness Suites Condominiums

Wellness Suites to offer cutting-edge functional medicine at new Niagara Falls condo project

A new project taking shape a stone’s throw from Greater Niagara General Hospital in Niagara Falls is giving new meaning to the term ‘living in your golden years.’ Known as the Wellness Suites, the $31-million project now under construction on Main Street is being described as a unique hybrid of a luxury condominium building and a state-of-the-art functional medicine and research centre. At the official groundbreaking for the 97-unit, eight-storey project years in the making, Wellness Suites Developments president Nick Vacarro said his model turns traditional adult community living thinking on its head. “(It’s) a totally new model,” he told Niagara This Week. “It’s never been done before” “We’re going to have a model that is unparalleled,” he said. “We’re going to set the gold standard for what adult community living should be like.” The building will certainly be snazzy, with a panoramic view of the city from the rooftop patio, a heated outdoor, saltwater pool, a farm-to-table dining room, a wine bar and cave, and various other amenities. But what’s breaking the mould is what Vaccaro believes is the first integration of condo living and the functional medical centre. “It’s really the key to making this all work,” he said. People will be able to buy or rent condos and live independently or have assisted living. Those who opt to do so will have access on-site to a multidisciplinary team such as nutritionists, doctors and wellness coach who can do everything from conduct health assessments and supervise personalized exercise programs and rehabilitation to do toxicity tests, offer cognitive therapy and treat core problems of chronic health issues using high-tech science such as genetic testing and analysis of the microbiome of the gut to determine what good and bad bacteria is there, said Vaccaro. “Medicine is changing at a rapid level now,” he said. “All of the technology that has come along has allowed us to do more in-depth analysis of individuals.” Vaccaro, a lifelong Niagara Falls resident and practicing chiropractor for 35 years, is also in discussions with Brock University with plans to conduct health-related quality of life research on willing participants at the building to support interventions to promote the highest quality of life for residents. “We want to make it cutting edge and we want to have research to validate that what we say is true,” he said. The project was able to be made relatively affordable thanks in part to financial incentives from the city, and a number of investors have invested in the project. Joseph Trombetta with Titan Mortgage Group of Stoney Creek told This Week that it was an easy decision to invest in the project because it will directly benefit older adults. “These are the most important people in this community,” he said. “It’s about time that a company took the time to not only invest in affordable housing, but also to invest in taking care of the people who have taken care of us, who have built these communities.” Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati said in an interview that the project is “spectacular.” The concept of a focus on a healthy lifestyle is one that needs to be emphasized more at a time when our population is getting older than ever before, he said. “At one time you got to a certain age and you were relegated to a rocking chair on the front porch,” he said. “(But) you should be active and engaged right through your golden years.” “This is not a place for people to act old and be old,” he said. “It’s a place for them to be active.” Diodati said the project will also help rejuvenate the downtown because mature adults and baby boomers tend to be well off. Having them move into the building could lure everyone from lawyers for estate planning to financial planners and other professionals, he said. Vaccaro said the Wellness Suites model could benefit mature adults in cities across Canada. “Once we start the model we’ll replicate it across the country,” he said. The project is scheduled to be completed in September of 2019. Condo ownership starts at $300,000 while condo rental with assisted living starts at $3,000 per month. For more information visit the model centre at 5679 Main St. from 1-4 p.m. seven days a week, call 905-357-2004 to book an appointment, email or visit

by Paul Forsyth

Paul Forsyth is Niagara This Week’s regional reporter, as well as Thorold reporter, covering a wide range of topics from politics to community and human interest stories. In his 30 years of reporting he has won numerous journalism awards at the local, provincial and national level. Email: Facebook Twitter ORIGINAL ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND HERE:

Commencement of Construction

News: March 6th 2018: Commencement of Construction Wellness Suites Developments starts construction of the Wellness Suites Wellness Suites Developments is pleased to announce that construction of The Wellness Suites, located at 5698 Main St. has commenced. The 9- story condominium development offers 97 luxury, residential units ranging in sizes as well as over 15,000 square feet of amenities. The building will also be home to the Wellness Suites Functional Medicine Centre which will bring together the latest and most advanced medical technologies and therapies from around the world under one roof. The project, whose construction started yesterday, has been funded by Meridian Credit Union and is expected to be completed and operational in the fall of 2019. The commercial complex, located on the main floor will house the Wellness Suites Functional Medicine Centre, dining room, wine lounge, and fitness centre. The facility also features a rooftop terrace surrounded by green spaces with stunning views of the Niagara Skyline. In addition, the 9-story building will include an esthetics salon, a 1,000 square foot, penthouse yoga room with panoramic views and a salt water pool, all of which can be enjoyed by the Wellness Suites residents and their guests. Wellness Suites Developments is also pleased to announce that discussions are currently underway with Brock University on potential plans for running their Heart Strong and Senior Fit Programs in the Wellness Suites facilities. If these plans move forward, this will provide high-level feedback for continual development and refinement of programs. About Wellness Suites Developments Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Niagara Falls, Wellness Suites Developments is a team of well-established and highly-experienced individuals in the construction industry, investment & finance sector as well as the medical field.  The Wellness Suites Developments group has an extended team of in-house project managers, engineers and skilled tradesmen who have the knowledge and expertise, using the latest technologies and software, to bring any project through its phases to completion. It is the mission of Wellness Suites Developments to draw on the experience of its team to identify and pursue investment opportunities in the residential and health sector to advance health-promoting lifestyles supported by quality, value-based homes and scientifically supported, health-promoting medical care. For more information, please check Contacts Judy Farmer, General Manager 905-357-2004