At the last meeting of the Auburn City Council, during the public comment session, a number of citizens came forward to express concern over the closing of HealthPlus, an Auburn landmark. News of the closing of this vital facility has been bouncing around for a couple weeks, and the hospital makes plans to turn it into a physicians office building.
Bad news for the many citizens who depended on it for water aerobics and other health benefits offered by the heated saltwater pool. The many other fitness programs are scheduled to be moved to a much smaller space in the Auburn Mall.
HealthPlus is not located in a secluded spot away from the hustle and bustle of commercialization with easy access for seniors and those with disabilities. Now, it looks like they will have to fight traffic and parking of the mall. The benefits of HealthPlus to Auburn citizens are too numerous to mention. Anyone who has been there can attest to that.
As a former hospital CEO, I have observed and experienced the public good provided outside their doors by progressive and well-run accredited hospitals. Many hospitals across our country are not accredited and too small to provide the needed financial support or management expertise requred to provide such public facilities as HealthPlus. Fitness programs are a major part of modern health care and vital to any growing community, and the loss of HealthPlus as it now is strikes a lethal blow to the public wellbeing.
From going forward with the establishment of three modern healthcare facilities such as Azalea Place, Magnolia Place and Camellia Place years ago (all of which have been sold a couple of times) to the closing of HealthPlus, our hospital mission seems to have changed. Surely, they have done an excellent job in providing and managing a first-class medical center, from which we are very proud.
To replace a facility such as HealthPlus, a Mother House (hospital) or a governmental entity (city) or county must step in. They will require subsidizing, but what better use of our tax money?