The community’s hidden gem
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.”
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.