Aurora Medical Center in Washington County

  • 1032 E Sumner St
    Hartford, WI 53027

    Phone: 262-673-2300 • Fax: 262-670-7620
    Map and Driving Directions
  • Hours of Operation:
    24 hours/day, 7 days a week.
    Individual departments vary.

As a longtime member of the Army National Guard, Harry Wehr, of Neosho, had always been in pretty decent shape. Five years ago, however, at age 46, he felt he needed to lose his midlife weight gain and build some extra strength and endurance to ensure he'd pass his next Armed Forces Physical Test (PT).

Right around that time, Harry's daughter had knee surgery and physical therapy at Aurora Medical Center in Washington County. That's when Harry discovered a "well-kept secret" in the community: The hospital's fitness center isn't just for patients. Anyone who wants to get into an exercise routine may join the rehabilitation department's Community Fitness Program and receive the benefits of a medically based workout facility. That includes a full complement of well-maintained exercise equipment along with a professional staff consisting of exercise specialists, an exercise physiologist, cardiac and pulmonary nurses, physical therapists, physical therapy assistants and occupational therapists.

"Our Community Fitness program is an offshoot of our cardiac rehab, physical and occupational rehab services," says Anne Hosinski, manager of Aurora's rehabilitation services in Washington County. "It began in the mid ‘90s when insurance companies began dictating how many therapy visits patients could have following surgery or after an illness or injury. We'd get them over the acute phase of their condition, but then we'd have to discharge them before they'd have the chance to build strength to prevent further injury. We set up a personalized program for each patient to do on his or her own in our medically supervised fitness facility for a nominal monthly charge. They can work out with confidence that if something happens or if they're not doing something the right way, they'll get immediate help."

Physicians Prompted Program to Next Level

The idea of the Community Fitness program "snowballed," Anne continues. "Patients started telling their doctors about how much it helped them not only recover from their surgery, but to lose weight, decrease their blood pressure, cholesterol and so on. They wanted to continue the routine they had started with us. When our physicians began referring well patients for help with lifestyle modifications, we decided to just open the program to the community."

"We have over 300 members enjoying our program including our own employees who come in before and after their shifts," says Pam Feucht, supervisor of inpatient and cardiac rehabilitation services for Aurora's Washington County facilities. "It's made for a wonderful atmosphere combining patients, staff and members of the community. The camaraderie here is fantastic."

"It's an unbelievable program at a very reasonable cost," says Harry, who has worked out five days a week since joining in 2000 except for the 18 months he was deployed in Iraq. "I especially appreciate all the on-spot corrections for positive workouts so that you don't hurt yourself. I can't begin to tell you how much they've helped. Initially, the program got me ready for my PT. After Iraq, the staff helped me get back on track with a workout routine and better diet to help me lose all the weight I gained there. When I came back, I was 30 pounds overweight and I gained another 15 before I started going to the fitness center again."

Now retired from the military, Harry continues to work out at the hospital for health reasons and to maintain the results he's achieved.

Equipment at the facility includes free weights, weight stations, Pilates and core stabilization equipment, as well as a full range of aerobic machines from treadmills and ellipticals to upright and recumbent bicycles and steppers. In addition to health care staff and equipment, the Community Fitness programs offer a variety of group classes such as circuit training and Pilates, along with an ongoing exercise program for community youth ages 10 to 15 years old, personalized weight management and nutrition programs, and personal training services for participants with special concerns such as stroke recovery, Parkinson disease or head injuries.

About the Community Fitness Program

Membership in the Community Fitness program is $40 per month. A one-time initial startup fee of $65 includes:

  • A personal health history
  • Treadmill test with physician approval
  • Musculoskeletal screening
  • Body composition analysis
  • Orientation to exercise equipment
  • Design of a personalized exercise program

For more information about the Community Fitness Program or to set up your initial assessment, call Aurora Medical Center in Washington County at 262-670-7233.