Health and Wellness Increasingly Important, Welltower Executive Says

Jay Morgan, senior vice president of operations at Welltower (NYSE: HCN), joined REIT.com for a video interview at NAREIT’s 2016 Leader in the Light Working Forum at the Ritz Carlton – Coconut Grove in Miami.

Welltower is a health care REIT focusing on senior housing, post-acute care and long-term care facilities. As a health care REIT, Welltower’s tenants are particularly interested in healthy environments and well-being, according to Morgan.

While the focus in the past has been on creating environments where care can be delivered efficiently, the next generation of thinking in the industry is considering how lighting schemes, air quality measurement, and other steps can improve overall tenant and resident well-being, Morgan explained.

And while global landlords like Welltower are “fairly progressive” in their use of technology, the company can still learn from companies outside the real estate sector, Morgan said.

“We’re adopting technologies where appropriate and where it makes sense from a financial standpoint,” Morgan noted.

One area where Welltower is learning from outside its market segment involves employee engagement and the social component of sustainability, Morgan said.

“All these programs have the goal not only of attracting the best and brightest, but retaining them over the long term. That’s really the key to a sustainable operation,” he observed.

Meanwhile, Morgan said a Welltower sustainability initiative he is particularly proud of is a building certification program developed in-house.  It incorporates traditional building efficiency metrics, but also accounts for air quality and the quality of the built environment.

“It’s pretty unique to Welltower. We’ve rolled it out to our medical office portfolio and we’re really excited about the opportunity to roll it out through our broader portfolio,” he said.

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