The com­mu­nity’s hid­den gem

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News - BY AN­GELA BROWN News Staff

Over the years Hôpi­tal Glen­garry Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal has been able to pro­vide an in­creas­ing range of ser­vices to the com­mu­nity with spe­cial­ized pro­grams in­clud­ing an in­door pool.

The hos­pi­tal boasts its own ther­a­peu­tic in­door pool that opened in 2001. The hos­pi­tal’s chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Linda Ram­say said the pool is open to both hos­pi­tal pa­tients and the com­mu­nity and was built at a cost of about $700,000.

To­day it is used by about 10,000 vis­its from the public and pa­tients each year. Var­i­ous pro­grams are avail­able for the heated pool in­clud­ing Aqua Fit­ness, adult and baby swims, Pi­lates “wet,” pre- and postre­hab pro­grams, as well as swimming lessons and a public swim.

“I know the Aqua Fit­ness is re­ally big with the el­derly who have knee and joint is­sues,” said Ms. Ram­say. “Es­pe­cially those who have had knee re­place­ments; they re­ally like the heat of the pool, and to be able to ex­er­cise with­out putting any pres­sure on their joints.”

Ms. Ram­say said costs to use the pool help in cov­er­ing op­er­at­ing ex­penses, as well as a grant from the town­ship. “We wanted to be self-funded so we don’t have to use hos­pi­tal dol­lars to pro­vide the (ser­vice),” she said. Ms. Ram­say thanks the town­ship for its sup­port: “If they were not con­tribut­ing we would have a lit­tle bit of a deficit .” Some of the ex­penses to main­tain the pool in­clude the cost for staff as well as the on­go­ing costs for elec­tric­ity. “Elec­tric­ity rates are go­ing up as well as wa­ter,” adds Ms. Ram­say.

This year Tim Hor­tons spon­sored the pool for free pro­gram­ming dur­ing March break.

Ms. Ram­say said the hos­pi­tal is try­ing to pro­mote the pool as part of the town­ship’s fit­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties, in-line with the Tim Hor­tons Dome fa­cil­ity. “Peo­ple can think about the whole health con­cept - ex­er­cise and get­ting healthy,” said Ms. Ram­say. “The com­mu­nity loves the pool.”

Hos­pi­tal board past chair Bill Shields said that the chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer in 2001, Kurt Pris­tan­ski, made a ded­i­cated push to have the ther­a­peu­tic pool in­stalled, which was about two years be­fore Mr. Shields started on the board.

“The pool is a fan­tas­tic fa­cil­ity,” said Mr. Shields. “It’s kind of the hid­den gem in the com­mu­nity. Peo­ple that do use it think the world of it.”

AN­GELA BROWN PHOTO

POOL: Scott John­ston en­joys a post re­hab ses­sion in HGMH ther­a­peu­tic pool on April 29, as part of his re­cov­ery process, af­ter Mr. John­ston sus­tained an in­jury from fall­ing off a lad­der in early 2014.

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