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Wellness Center celebrates 15 years

By Staff | Aug 18, 2015

The Lee Memorial Health System celebrated the 15-year anniversary of its Cape Coral Wellness Center with an open house on Monday.

The center, at 609 SE 13th Court behind Cape Coral Hospital, drew a crowd of dignitaries, as well as longtime members of the facility, to partake in the festivities.

Cheryl Neal, member services assistant at the center, said the facility has served the needs of its members and the community by helping them reach their fitness goals, but takes it to another level as opposed to a fitness center.

“At a wellness center, we’re medically supervised. When people come here, we have them fill out a health history questionnaire. Our specialists go over it with them, look at their health history and give them an exercise prescription,” Neal said. “We’re more concerned with your health and wellness than your typical gym.”

One of the charter members is Joe Mazurkewicz Sr., the father of the former mayor of the same name. He has seen the place grow along with the clientele with whom he has become friends.

“It’s grown immensely since it came here. I love it here. I enjoy the atmosphere. It’s more than a gym, it’s a social gathering,” Mazurkewicz said.

Highlights of the event included a ribbon cutting and cake cutting hosted by the Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce at the basketball court, as well as a presentation by Dr. Sal Lacagnina, vice president of Health and Wellness, on aging and how older people can slow down the process.

“Medicine is usually about waiting for people to get sick and making them well again. Our focus is on keeping people healthy from the start so they can grow old gracefully,” Lacagnina said. “The cure to our health care problems is staying healthy. Focus on exercise, nutrition and stress management, all of those things keep people out of the doctor’s office.”

Afterward, visitors got to tour the facility’s three group exercise studios, basketball court, cycling studio, and the 25-yard and warm exercise pools.

And as this is a wellness center, health screenings and fitness assessments were offered while guests had a chance to visit numerous vendors, try out food samples, listen to music and maybe win a prize.

County Commissioner John Manning was among those who attended the event. He said as a 36-year resident he has seen the hospital grow, including the Wellness Center.

“I’ve been watching the whole process. I was on the city council 33 years ago and I’ve seen it grow and the population helps the hospital grow,” Manning said.

The Wellness Center has more than 90 group exercise classes per week, two saltwater pools and a full suite of exercise equipment.