COLUMBUS – The Rehabilitative Services and the Columbus Family YMCA make the perfect partnership to ensure healthy living for outpatients.

Rehabilitative Services, a department of Columbus Community Hospital, is located at the Columbus Wellness Center and provides physical, occupational and speech therapy.

“We see a fair number of our patients who are at the geriatric age who just needs some assistance learning how to walk on a walker or being mobile or being able to take of themselves at home safely,” said Doug Janssen, director at Rehabilitative Services.

The partnership began five years ago during the building process. Despite the partnership, the two entities operate separately. 

“We are separate but co-located and collaborating,” Janssen said.

Rehabilitative Services were located in the Columbus Community Hospital building three years ago but wanted to provide its patients easier access, especially for those in wheelchairs and walkers. From there, Rehabilitative Services moved to the center.

After patients have completed their therapy at the rehab services, Janssen wants to ensure that they continue maintaining an active lifestyle. The patients can do so at The Y through the transition program.

“We didn’t want to compete with what the YMCA is already providing so when we brought them in together to collaborate, we really saw how much larger our scope of services could be together,” Janssen said.

The staff at the YMCA increased their medical knowledge to better serve their members, especially those from rehab services, Janssen said.

Since both entities are located next to each other, it’s easier for patients to speak with their therapists when they need to.

Rehabilitative Services do not receive revenue from patients that sign up to be YMCA members. They they just want to ensure that they continue an active lifestyle. This reduces the chance of patients to have a relapse, Janssen said.

The YMCA waives the initiation fee of $45 for new members who transitioned from Rehabilitative Services.

Five percent of patients have enrolled in the transition program, and Janssen hopes to participation 25 percent.

While most of Rehabilitative Services' equipment are available at the YMCA, special equipment that is not, such as the anti-gravity treadmill are still accessible to patients and YMCA members.

The two key aspects of wellness are physical activities and nutrition. Aside from the transition program, the two entities also collaborate for classes such as Tai Chi and SpineFit. The instructors consist of staff from the YMCA and Rehabilitative Services.

To help patients improve their nutrition, both the YMCA and Rehabilitative Services host the Ask the Dietician event, cooking classes and a therapy garden. Ask the Dietician event is open to the public while the cooking class has a fee.

One of the biggest struggles in rehabilitation is making sure patients continue practicing their exercises and stretches after they make progress. The collaboration helps them overcome that hurdle.

“It’s excellent because we feel that there are fewer barriers for people continuing a lifestyle of physical activities and healthy behaviors after rehab,” Janssen said.