Patience running out
BY RICHARD MAHONEY
Staff Patience is wearing thin as officials at Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital in Alexandria seek a pool manager to rescue the hospital’s aqua fitness program.
Sessions have been suspended since April 6, when Danielle MacLeod resigned after ten years as manager of the therapeutic pool.
Attempts to find a successor have to date come up empty.
The hospital has had “no bites on the ads we have placed,” says hospital chief executive officer Michael Cohen. “We do have some leads at the moment, though. We should know where we sit in a few weeks.”
That assurance does not sit well with some of the 60 aqua fitness participants who have expressed their frustration to the HGMH’s board of directors.
Officials “say that the pool is very important to them but they have now had three and a half months to find an instructor,” says Carmel MacDonell. A lack of qualified pool managers in the area should have been anticipated by the hospital, contends Mrs. MacDonell.
In April, she and other aqua fitness participants wrote to the board. “We want all to be aware of our frustration, annoyance, disappointment, betrayal and the disrespect that you have shown us,” read the letter.
The clients say their health is being compromised because the popular aqua fitness program has been suspended.
The program will resume “the minute we have a person able and willing to do the job,” Mr. Cohen promised. He had hoped that a new manager can have been found by the end of April. Swimming lessons continue to be offered as usual. But aqua fitness clients have criticized the hospital’s reaction to the vacancy.
“We feel that by not using the ample time effectively that Danielle respectfully allotted you and her classes to find a qualified instructor you have shown disrespect to all,” the clients wrote in their letter to the board.
Although Ms. MacLeod told a class March 18 she was leaving April 6, the hospital knew of her impending departure back in January, the clients say.
Pools are available in Hawkesbury and Cornwall, but they are not therapeutic facilities.