C-TH officials support plan to move fitness business into medical center | RecordCourier.com
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C-TH officials support plan to move fitness business into medical center

by Sharon Carter

A combined wellness-fitness center will likely be one of the biggest businesses, footage-wise, in the Minden Medical Center.

Carson-Tahoe Hospital officials Thursday were supportive of a plan advanced by physical therapist Rick Stephenson, who operates High Desert Therapy at the Minden facility. Stephenson asked to be allowed to move a Minden fitness business he operates with his wife into the complex.

“The idea would be to merge the two operations as they were before, (creating) a medical model fitness center – a wellness, fitness, rehab model,” Stephenson said.

In order to expand his services at the Minden center, Stephenson said he would need to lease another 3,800 square feet of space that could connect to his existing 2,600 square foot suite. That space, he said, is available on the second floor of the complex above and to the south of his physical therapy operation, connecting to it by a stairwell.

Stephenson said High Desert Fitness typically serves about 100 clients per day. He suggested the added coming and going at the medical complex could serve to help raise the community’s awareness of the facility.

He also said the fitness center’s clients tend to be older than typical health club members and some of them have significant health problems.

“They feel safe there,” Stephenson said. “Often they’ve done their physical therapy with us and see it (working out) as a continuation of the therapy.”

Dr. Paul Phillips Jr. was concerned about the potential for increased liability to the hospital if a fitness client should fall ill at the center.

“Since we are perceived as a healthcare provider, do we want to promote it throughout the community as a wellness center?” Phillips said.

Stephenson assured him the fitness center “exercises due diligence” when it works with clients.

“We require a physician’s release and a list of limitations,” Stephenson said. “There shouldn’t be any increased liability to the hospital.”

Stephenson said he would like to move the fitness center over by August, when its lease is up at its present location at the corner of Lucerne Street and Highway 395.