Local News

UNC Rex Healthcare to close Wellness Center of Garner, convert it into new surgical site

Posted November 25, 2021 10:45 a.m. EST
Updated November 25, 2021 6:20 p.m. EST

— For 18 years, members of the Rex Wellness Center of Garner found rejuvenation and a sense of belonging. Recently, members learned it will all close down in late September of 2022.

An official statement sent to WRAL News reads, "UNC Rex recently received regulatory approval to build a surgery center at that site, which will provide much needed surgical services for that region, closer to home."

That news came as a shock to Wellness Center member Cheryl McCardle.

"Yeah, I’m really upset and sad to see this close," she said.

Another member, 83-year-old Edward Spence, explained his concerns, saying, "To my knowledge, there’s no other place in Garner that has an indoor pool where people can do pool exercises."

Spence comes to the wellness center about three to four days a week, mainly to swim in in the facility’s warm water indoor pool. The weightlessness in the pool and hydrotherapy sessions are a great benefit for many members, especially seniors.

Spence and others say they would rather not drive any further to another exercise facility even if it does have the same features.

Centers in Cary, Raleigh, Wakefield and Knightdale are available, but they are anywhere from 10 to 25 miles away from Garner.

The UNC Rex Healthcare statement adds, "We recognize the inconvenience it will cause some of our members, which is why we wanted to give them lots of time to make other arrangements."

"I have to say I was quite distressed because we live out in Clayton. So to go to any of the other centers just doesn’t seem likely for us," McCardle said.

Some may be glad a new surgical site will be closer to home, but Spence doesn’t like the trade off.

"But all of us people who are committed to the exercise will sorely miss this location," he said.

UNC Rex Healthcare officials say they will work closely with members who want to shift to another wellness center in their network.

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