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  • Wellness Coordinator Jason Mentzer, left, speaks with Centerburg resident Mike Morrison as he works out on a brand new eliptical trainer, one of many pieces of new equipment available in Knox Community Hospitalís newest community fitness center in Centerburg.
    Wellness Coordinator Jason Mentzer, left, speaks with Centerburg resident Mike Morrison as he works out on a brand new eliptical trainer, one of many pieces of new equipment available in Knox Community Hospitalís newest community fitness center in Centerburg.
    Photo by Geoff Cowles
  • April 13, 2011 10:35 am EDT

CENTERBURG — The fitness center in the Centerburg High School building received more than a facelift earlier this year.

What it got was a more comprehensive approach to managed health care, thanks to Knox Community Hospital.

“The hospital has been interested for a while in expanding out into the community,” Jason Mentzer, Wellness Coordinator for Knox Community Hospital. “We coordinated everything with the school and took over in January. So it’s a great partnership.”

KCH provides the manpower to operate the facility. This is the second such facility; the first one is at the site of the old Fredericktown High School. Both centers are satellites of the main fitness center at KCH. Members can work out at all three centers.

The facility in Centerburg is staffed from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, and from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday. The center hopes to cater to a wide variety of people.

“We have an exercise physiologist, who is covering the facility at all times,” said Mentzer, “so it’s a nice, safe environment for community members to come in to.”

The location and hours appear to be ideal for Knox County residents who commute.

“Probably, one of our busiest times is at 5 a.m.,” said Mentzer. “We have a lot of teachers, and individuals who work and maybe commute down to Sunbury, come in and work out and then head to work. We have some individuals from the Sunbury area and the Condit area, just because there’s just not a lot offered in that area. That was one of the really great things. We can really grow the program and get extremely successful, just because of the need in the community.”

The goal is not just to be there if something goes wrong. It is to encourage a healthy lifestyle for individuals over the long haul.

“Our focus at the Center for Rehab and Wellness is the continuation of care,” said Mentzer. “We see individuals come in for therapy and, when they finish, they want to stay healthy so they continue into the program. We also see people who come in to stay healthy and then have an accident. They can transition right back in. It’s that whole continuum of care that we are going to try to promote as well.”

Generous donations from members of the community have completely transformed and modernized the facility so it can cater to a wide variety of needs.

“It’s a unique facility in a sense,” said Mentzer. “Everything in there is new or new to our facility. What was there before is gone. (Centerburg High School) has done a wonderful job getting different equipment in there. We have your typical fitness center-type of equipment — treadmills, bicycles, elipticals, rowing machines, so there’s a lot of cardiovasular equipment. There’s also a lot of strength-training equipment. It’s a dual-purpose facility.”

 

gcowles@mountvernonnews.com

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