Redwood City Council is adding its voice to the fight to save the Mickelson Arthritis and Rehabilitation Center pool.
“Those that want/need a warm water therapy pool in the county have raised their voices at Redwood City council meetings. The council believes that the voices are sincere in their request,” wrote Redwood City Mayor Jeff Gee in a letter on behalf of the Redwood City council to Warner Thomas, CEO of Sutter Health.
The Mickelson Arthritis and Rehabilitation Center pool, located at the Mills Health Center in San Mateo, is the only fully accessible, ADA-compliant warm water facility of its kind in the county.
The pool was closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A year later, in March of 2021, Sutter Health announced it would permanently close the facility. A petition to save the pool began shortly after the closure announcement.
“It is my hope that the leadership at Sutter can find a solution that helps all parties involved for the short-term and long-term needs of the community,” Gee's letter continued.
With the correspondence from Redwood City, every city and town in San Mateo County has now passed resolutions, issued proclamations or sent formal letters of support to Sutter Health.
“Having the support of all 20 cities and towns in San Mateo County sends a clear message to Sutter that the Mickelson therapy pool is a vital resource for disabled and elderly residents countywide,” said Lindsay Raike, CEO of Warm Water Wellness.
After seeing immense pushback from the community, company officials are now seeking to explore what options there may be to restore the aquatic center.
At the January Peninsula Health Care District (PHCD) meeting, Sutter Health Mills-Peninsula Medical Center CEO Janet Wagner announced that she had invited an expert from the Redwood City YMCA to evaluate the current condition and assess the cost of refurbishing the pool.
At the same meeting, PHCD directors also passed a motion to create a committee for the project. The committee comprises members from:
- Sequoia Healthcare District
- San Mateo County Board of Supervisors
- Redwood City YMCA
“We hope that Mills-Peninsula CEO Wagner and Sutter Health will collaborate with the ad hoc committee to expeditiously reopen this medically necessary facility,” said Raike.