During a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday evening, Mercy Hospital offered demonstrations and information to visitors about the new HydroWorx 300 recently added to the hospital’s equipment available to patients and other members of the community.
“Aquatic therapy has been our goal and our target for a lot of years,” said Kirk Sharp of the hospital’s fitness center. “And it’s here.”
Tina Rockhold of public relations at Mercy said it took a long while to reach this point of purchasing the equipment, one of the only ones available in the state outside of those used by professional sports organizations. But with the funds raised in the community, the leadership of board members and the work from the hospital team, the goal became a reality.
Efforts to raise funds for the treadmill began with a golf tournament in June and continued with matching funds and other donation from the community.
The water treadmill provides aquatic therapy for those recovering from injuries as well as those suffering from arthritis and other ailments. It can also serve as an ideal way to exercise because of the added level of resistance in the water.
The treadmill, which cost about $140,000, includes features such as adjustable water depth, heated water, jet-propelled currents, deep-tissue massage hose and underwater video camera. The facilities include a changing room, shower and lockers.
While available first of all to patients and those needing the therapy, the treadmill can also be reserved for $1 a minute by Health for Life members and $1.50 each minute for non-members. Sharp said starting with just five minutes can provide and vigorous workout.
“What an awesome piece of equipment we have,” said Lindsay Madison, executive director of the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce.