Pa­tience run­ning out

The Glengarry News - - News - News


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.

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