Robinson Memorial Hospital's new 67,000-square-foot addition opens

By Micah Panczyk Record-Courier staff writer Published:

"We have designed the outside of the new structure to look like

that of the hospital," said Mark Saunders, who has overseen the addition's

construction. "But inside here, we have tried to be a bit more contemporary

and open- spaced.''

Residents are invited to tour Robinson Memorial Hospital's new 67,000-square-foot

addition from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, when its facilities and services

will be unveiled to the public eye.

The tour will begin with a survey of the RehabCenter and SportClinic,

a facility housing a 2,000-square-foot therapeutic pool in addition to more

than 30 weight and simulation machines styled for patients in physical and

occupational therapy.

"The goal of our rehabilitation programs is to enhance quality of

life by reducing pain, fostering healing and, ultimately, getting people

back to function,'' said Joe Blasiole, director of the RehabCenter. "Swimming

can be excellent therapy for certain physical ailments, because the buoyancy

allows patients to perform exercises they could not perform outside of water.''

Not only will the pool aid patients in physical therapy, but also children

engaged in speech therapy, according to speech pathologist Christina Skinner.

"Cognitive stimulation between the ages of one and three is critical

to a child's linguistic development," Skinner said. "For children

who were deprived of such, the pool will be an important resource where

they can interact with their therapist and other children. It is a place

where their senses can be bombarded."

Comfortably couched on the building's first floor, the speech therapy

program is aiming to expand its services through contact with area physicians,

who might refer patients in need of such services.

The Robinson Radiation Oncology is located in the building's basement.

A collaborative effort between Robinson Memorial and Akron General Medical

Center, the center is the first of its kind in Portage County.

"The patients we have treated so far seem pretty pleased that they

no longer have to drive to Akron for their treatments,'' said radiation

therapist Mike Burkey. "About 80 percent of our patients are over 60

years old, so that drive can be tough, especially in the winter time.''

The tour continues to the second floor, which houses the services offered

by Ravenna Primary Care physicians. Formerly scattered in separate buildings,

these physicians are now centrally located, a shift that should benefit

both them and their patients, according to Amy Griffiths, a nurse at the

facility.

"The design affords the capabilities of a very large practice, but

at the same time, provides a lot of privacy for the patients,'' she said.

"For patients coming from more crowded offices, this will be a real

treat."

Dr. Pedro Montemayor is also practicing at the site.

The building's third floor will house additional physician offices, which

are still under construction. All told, services will range from family

practice and internal medicine to gynecology, ophthalmology and pulmonary

medicine.

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