Marilyn Banford peers through the window at the empty hydrotherapy pool

New wave of warm-water therapy announced

Repaired Weatherby Pool reopened to residential patients in April

A warm-water aquatic program is returning to Peace Arch Hospital’s hydrotherapy pool next month, nearly one year after its predecessor was shut out due to what officials called a conflict of interest.

JR Rehab Services is to begin offering the four-week courses – two sessions per week – in the Weatherby Pavilion pool on Sept. 12.

“We’re starting with one class and seeing what the demand is,” Kevin Loades, director of operations for JR Rehab, said last week. “We will continue to run more and more courses based on demand.”

Fraser Health put out a request for interested providers last December, and have been working with JR Rehab since January to establish the program, Fraser Health spokesperson Nafisa Abdulla confirmed Monday.

The search for a new provider began after the previous contract was terminated due to what Fraser Health officials described at the time as “a conflict of interest that cannot be resolved.”

The operator – who was a part-time Fraser Health employee – last November described timing of the termination as “interesting.” It came as the 30-year-old pool was announced to be closing indefinitely due to a need for “significant repair.”

Abdullah on Monday said the work undertaken following an assessment included replacement of the pool and hot tub’s tiling and grout.

New lighting was also installed, and the pool re-opened to residential-care clients in April.

Participants of the previous private program described benefits of the warm-water exercise as helpful with ailments such as debilitating rheumatoid arthritis, and in recovering from surgery.

Loades said the JR Rehab program is by registration only, and participants must provide medical confirmation that they are physically capable of taking part – they must be able to be in the pool independently.

Class size is limited to 10 and the cost is $20 per session.

Loades acknowledged the cost is higher than what clients paid in the previous program.

“But… we’re offering a higher lever of education for the instructor and we’re also an established company,” he said. “We’ve been around for 20 years.

“Hopefully, the disruption that they had won’t happen again.”

Those interested may register by calling 604-254-0444 or emailing info@jrrehab.ca by Sept. 9.

 

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