Guest Editorial: Keep FoxCare Fitness Open, Please

Guest Editorial by Anne Donovan

Keep FoxCare Fitness Open, Please

The closure of FoxCare Fitness gym is ill-advised and unwarranted. Denying about 750 members from looking after their own health by exercising and thereby practicing “preventative care” at the gym is irresponsible. Many of these members are following up after cardio and physio therapy. This gym has been open for 24 years and no is the time to encourage a way forward again.

COVID times have been tough on all the healthcare industry. Staff at medical facilities are already at capacity or beyond and are struggling to keep up with services and appointments within reasonable time frames. Surely, “preventative care” decreases the need for “patient care” and is helpful to all medical facilities?

The gym is such a vital part of our healthcare system in many ways. Apart from the obvious excellent healthcare the gym provides to so many people, there is also the issue of the sense of unity and community it brings. The camaraderie, the encouragement to exercise instilled by being part of a big gym group, and the social and business connections too are part of this. There is also the important aspect of accessibility with the easy, abundant parking available. Bassett medical staff at the FoxCare Center use this gym, too.

Where are 750 “dismissed” members supposed to go? There is no viable alternative to factoring in about 750 people. That is a huge number to deal with and reckless to dismiss that issue as being otherwise absorbed. It is infeasible.
People are feeling more encouraged since the COVID lock-down. Now is the time to revitalize the gym with advertising and promotion to increase membership. City, town, county and state officials should be engaged to find ideas to work with the gym on this issue and for any help they can give.

The gym must stay open. It is harmful to the health of so many that cannot be accommodated otherwise. It is a valuable part of our community and an absolute necessity to many. A way must be found to keep the gym open and encourage the “preventative care” health of all!

Anne Donovan is a resident of Oneonta.

Editor’s Note: According to a press release issued on March 10, A.O. Fox Hospital and Bassett Healthcare Network have begun conversations with the Oneonta Family YMCA to explore a potential collaboration at FoxCare Fitness.

“Since the recent announcement that our health system will no longer continue operating a membership-based public fitness facility at the FoxCare Center, I have heard from many of you about how important this facility is to you and the community,” said Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, president and chief executive officer of Bassett Healthcare Network. “I am excited about this opportunity to work together with the YMCA and explore the possibility of sustaining some level of public availability to the wonderful facility at FoxCare Fitness.”

At this time, the two organizations are in the early stages of exploring opportunities to align their respective strengths and expertise to collaborate on projects and initiatives, including at the FoxCare Fitness site, that benefit the community.

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