The Wall Street Journal yesterday featured an article about the 83 year old philanthropist David Murdock who owns Dole Foods, among other companies. Mr. Murdock is building the California Wellbeing Institute outside Los Angeles. The Journal describes the Institute as ” a combination Four Seasons luxury resort, conference center and nutrition-counseling school.”
It was most interesting to me that the health insurer Wellpoint has assumed a 15% ownership interest in the Institute. The Jurnal article further explains that in 2004, “Mr. Murdock convinced [then Wellpoint CEO Leonard] Schaeffer that WellPoint should team up with him. Mr. Schaeffer saw wellness as a promising business area, with good boomer demographics and the potential to attract cash-paying customers, free from the constraints of medical insurance.” The Institute is scheduled to open in November 2006.