OMC: Therapy pool will remain open

Olympic Medical Center officials announced during an Aug. 6 board of commissioners meeting that the hydrotherapy pool is to remain open after all.

The daunting cost of a $50,000 new liner for the center’s hydrotherapy pool, in addition to the service’s expensive upkeep were nearly grounds for shutting down the pool sometime next month. Following a mid-July OMC board meeting where several concerned patients were outspoken about the hydrotherapy pool’s potential closure, OMC officials turned their attention to try to secure funds for the pool.

“We’re seriously looking at options and considering donations,” said Eric Lewis, OMC chief executive officer, following the July meeting where he listened to patients’ pleas to keep the pool open.

To boost OMC’s confidence in its ability to keep the hydrotherapy service available, an anonymous donor has since come forward to pay for half the cost of the new liner.

Historically, the hydrotherapy pool loses about $6,000 a month, Lewis said. Thus, in addition to procuring funds for improvements, OMC officials also are working to develop a financial plan to sustain the pool’s future, according to press release from Bruce Skinner, Olympic Medical Center Foundation director.

To get the funds flowing for the hydrotherapy pool’s capital improvement project, Sequim Health and Rehabilitation and Crestwood Health and Rehabilitation are sponsoring a fundraiser at Barhop Brewery in Port Angeles from 5-10 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 23. Games, prizes, a photo booth, live music and a pig roast are on the agenda for the event.

“Sequim Health and Rehabilitation and Crestwood Rehabilitation are two of our largest sponsors and once again, we want to thank them for supporting this vital project and their support of the community,” said Karen Rogers, Olympic Medical Center Foundation president. “They have stepped forward significantly to help better the lives of patients.”

All funds raised at the event will be donated by the Olympic Medical Center Foundation to the assist with the hydrotherapy pool improvements, Skinner said.

Although the hydrotherapy pool is a mere 14 feet by 10 feet, improvements like the new liner are so expensive because of the pool’s unique features, such as the underwater treadmill and an adjustable floor.

For hydrotherapy pool patient and Sequim resident Cecilia Kellogg-Kilmer, the ability to undergo aquatic therapy has bettered her quality of life.

Kellogg-Kilmer has been a hydrotherapy patient at OMC since this past fall because of spinal detrition from an inoperable form of arthritis, she said. Before hydrotherapy Kellogg-Kilmer couldn’t use her legs, but has since been able to strengthen her leg muscles enough to walk again.

“I can walk a mile around my neighborhood now,” Kellogg-Kilmer said. “The buoyancy of the water holds up your body and helps you to bypass the impacts of gravity.”

Out of the 40 active patients who utilize the hydrotherapy pool, 10 are from Sequim, said Bobby Beeman, OMC’s communications manager. The number of active patients does vary but equates to roughly 100-plus one-on-one visits per month.

Call the Olympic Medical Center Foundation for tickets at 417-7144. Also, those unable to attend can send checks to the Olympic Medical Foundation, 928 E Caroline St., earmarked “Support the Therapy Pool.”

Hog Wild – A night of games, suds and grub

What: Fundraiser for OMC’s hydrotherapy pool

When: 5-10 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 23.

Where: Barhop Brewery, 124 W. Railroad Ave., Port Angeles

Cost: Tickets cost $25.

More info: Call 417-4417 or visit


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