From Montrose Daily Press – Drew Setterholm Daily Press Staff Writer
A partnership between the Montrose Recreation District and Montrose Memorial Hospital will provide for a physical therapy clinic at the new community recreation center.
The two entities announced the agreement Tuesday, Nov. 25 and called the partnership a natural fit for both organizations and their respective goals for community health.
“It’s such a perfect partnership — it really is very much a natural fit,” MRD executive director Ken Sherbenou said. “Both of our organizations are very much interested in promoting health in the community and it’s really awesome that we’re now going to be working together out of the rec center to achieve that mission.”
The agreement will see a physical therapy clinic added to construction plans for the community recreation center, which the recreation district plans to break ground on in spring 2015. The therapy facility will operate under the name Mountain View Therapy South, an extension of Montrose Memorial Hospital and its existing therapy branch.
Martin Lutz, director of rehab services at MMH, said the opportunity to place a physical therapy facility within a community recreation center is on he has been keen on for a number of years.
Hospital administration and the board of directors shared Lutz’s enthusiasm for the project, and when MRD issued a request for proposals in August, Lutz was a primary driver in composing a proposal.
After discussions, the MRD board of directors and MMH representatives agreed to an initial lease term of five years and five months, beginning in August 2016 and running through the end of 2021.
“Our initial plan is to put physical therapy in that facility and grow to meet the patients’ and population’s needs,” Lutz said.
A major component of the rec district’s request was for a partner willing to contribute significant funding upfront, in order to cover the added cost of construction that would be absorbed in the community recreation center project.
“We’re spending tax dollars to get this facility built and we wanted to make sure that we were being prudent with the taxpayers’ money for the dollars invested,” John Pope, MRD board of directors president, said.
According to Pope, the agreement between the rec district and hospital accommodated for “a large percentage” of the upfront building costs.
“It’s just a win-win for us and it’s a win-win for the community, because now we really do have more of an all-inclusive health center,” Pope said.
There are benefits to both organizations in providing physical therapy services in the recreation center setting.
“It gives us an opportunity to return our patients or to teach them about an active lifestyle,” Lutz said.
“Our goal in physical therapy is not to keep the patient for ever and ever, but to help them in their recovery, and then return them or teach them about an active lifestyle. Our involvement in the rec center really assists us with that.”
From the recreation district perspective, Sherbenou was excited to include medical treatment for specific ailments within the recreation district’s broader objective of providing long-term health benefits through active living.
“Having a therapy provider and medical professionals in the building really communicates that the recreation center is not just for fun and games. It’s also for serious health promotion and for really achieving improved health outcomes,” Sherbenou said.
During appointments at Mountain View Therapy South, patients will undergo treatment and care inside the dedicated therapy facility, as well as in the community recreation center’s therapy pool, walking track and fitness area.
Patients at the therapy clinic will also be granted full access to the entire recreation center facility for the full day of their appointment, encouraging continued use of the center.
“Giving them their medical care within a recreation center is just a perfect way to transition them into full lifestyle changes and really taking ownership of their health, and, hopefully, becoming regular users of the rec center,” Sherbenou said.
The recreation district will present a final design of the community recreation center, including the addition of Mountain View Therapy South, in two public meetings Dec. 10 at the Montrose Aquatic Center. Two identical sessions will be provided at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
“It’s basically the culmination of all the design work that we’ve been engaged in since the voters approved the rec center plan,” Sherbenou said. “This is the community’s opportunity to come see what their rec center is going to look like.”