Hudson -- Akron General Edwin Shaw Rehab Institute has announced plans to move its satellite therapy clinic from its current Hudson location to the Akron General Health & Wellness Center - North in Stow this fall, and some patients aren't happy about the move.

Akron General Edwin Shaw Rehab Institute has been located in Hudson at 1345 Corporate Drive for a little more than 14 years, according to James Armstrong, director of communications and public relations for Akron General. The property in Hudson was leased, but Akron General owns the Health & Wellness Center at 4300 Allen Road in Stow.

The Hudson employees, three full-time and three part-time, will transfer to Stow, he added.

The move to Stow is being made to enhance patient services and make services more convenient, according to Armstrong.

"The Stow site, built in 2007, is state-of-the-art and provides easy access to many more services," Armstrong said. "It offers a 24/7 emergency department, diagnostics and a medical office building along with our LifeStyles medical fitness center."

At the Stow facility, rehabilitation patients will have access to therapy pools and a larger range of specialized equipment, Armstrong said. Quiet therapy space more suited to meet the specific rehabilitation needs of brain injury patients is available, and the center provides immediate access to emergency services, if needed.

The Health & Wellness Center has convenient and close-in patient drop off and pick up entrances, and ample handicapped reserved parking, Armstrong said.

"So access for Edwin Shaw patients should be easy and convenient," Armstrong said.

Armstrong said that change is difficult, and Akron General is working hard to keep patients informed and welcomes questions.

Antonia Scacco, who has had a hip replacement and three back surgeries, is not happy about the move. She praises the Hudson facility staff who handle multiple issues of patients, including physical, occupational and speech therapy.

She also prefers the Hudson facility's therapy pool.

"They have a beautiful therapy pool for pain management," Scacco said. "The pool in the Hudson facility has a current we can walk against to build muscle and improve balance and strength."

The Health & Wellness Center pool is larger, deeper and more public, she said.

"The brain injury and dementia patients can become very anxious, but this [Hudson] building is sheltered," Scacco said. "It's just us. I'm not sure administration understands that."

Jeannie Miller, former patient and volunteer, said the Hudson facility is so small, people get to know you, your back story and cheer for you. If they move to the Health & Wellness Center, the intimacy will be greatly diminished, she said.

Christine Jackovitz, a patient since 1999 and volunteer, said her husband had a membership at the Health & Wellness Center.

"The one thing that struck me is the parking is terrible," Jackovitz said. "If you could find a parking spot, walking into the facility was difficult."

In addition, she said, the exercise area would have young people working out along older people.

"I'm old and decrepit, and I'm intimidated by young and healthy people who don't understand having a major injury and trying to come back from a debilitating disease or accident," Jackovitz said.

Instead of moving to the Health & Wellness Center, Jackovitz said she would rather see therapy patients come to the Edwin Shaw facility in Hudson.

"We have everything you need," Jackovitz said.


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