Unique Partnership

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CARBONDALE -- Mary Nicolosi, from greenfield township, is doing what she now does 5-days a week: working out at the greater Carbondale YMCA.

It's not uncommon for YMCA facilities to have gyms and wellness programs for its members.

Some also have swimming pools, like this one does.

But what may be unusual is all that Mary has access to under one roof.

"You have physical therapists, you have an RN, a dietician, personal trainers and they communicate with your doctor so your doctor can be involved."

First. To the physical therapists. Just a floor up from the gym area is the space now occupied by Pro-Care Physical Therapy, a private practice with 11-offices in northeastern Pennsylvania.

This Pro-Care grew from a tiny 650-square-foot space now used as a preschool, to this brand new facility.

"We felt that the values of the YMCA and the values of our company were very similar."

Karen McGraw-Non is facility director at the Carbondale office.

She says this is now Pro-Care's largest office, in terms of number of patients seen in a day. She thinks the YMCA partnership has something to do with that.

"When the patients are ready for discharge, they get 2 full weeks access to the Y, they and a friend, so they can learn life-long maintenance. Which really it is."

"They are upstairs, their own separate entity, but they use our equipment and they help us in areas our trainers might not be versed in."

The therapists, their patients and Y members say they're also fortunate to have a registered nurse on hand. Her name is Lorrie Williams, and she started a cardiac rehab program here at the Y, and for Pro Care.

She felt it was especially important to do. Once Marian Community Hospital closed in the area.

"Yes, it is very unusual for cardiac rehab or cardiac wellness to be run in a well facility, like a YMCA or a physical therapy office."

Which brings us back to Mary. It's under Lorrie's guidance that she is working toward her goals.

"I lost 65 pounds since last May and it has been fairly easy. The most important thing to do is to show up."