ASHLAND King’s Daughters Medical Center will reopen the Vitality Center in Russell as of June 1.
The center was formerly operated by Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital. The center is a pediatric rehabilitation center that includes physical, occupational and speech therapy. Adult physical therapy will also return on June 1 with occupational and speech therapists to resume as demand for the services increase.
“We are so excited (to) be able to open back up and start providing care to our patients again,” said Tim O’Toole, PT, director of outpatient therapy for King’s Daughters. “There is such a great need for rehabilitation services, especially rehab services for our pediatric population.”
O’Toole served as director of the Vitality Center from 2006 until its closing on April 30.
Most of the former Vitality Center staff will return under King’s Daughters, O’Toole noted, including adult and pediatric physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and OT/PT assistants. Over the next few weeks, Vitality Center team members will begin contacting patients to resume therapy, O’Toole said.
When the Vitality Center closure was first announced, many parents were concerned that pediatric rehabilitation services would be discontinued in the community. Through the efforts of state Sen. Robin Webb (D-18th District), the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) designation that provided financial support for these services was transferred to King’s Daughters.
“This is definitely a needed program and important to the health and well-being of children in this region,” he said. “Without Robin Webb’s help, we would not have been able to continue. She was wonderful and we are very thankful for her efforts.”
The Vitality Center pool will remain closed for the foreseeable future due to restrictions from COVID-19. Additionally, patients and staff alike will be required to wear a cloth face covering or mask at all times. Social distancing will be maintained and everyone will be subject to temperature checks and symptom screening, said Curtis Metzler, administrator of post-acute care services for King’s Daughters.
Vitality Center memberships will not be resumed until later.
“We hope to be able to restart those in July, but much of that depends on COVID-19 restrictions,” O’Toole said.