South San Francisco, CA March 6, 2023
On February 22, Redwood City Mayor Jeff Gee added his voice to the fight to save the Mack E. Mickelson therapy pool located at Mills Health Center in San Mateo. Writing on behalf of the Redwood City City Council, Gee sent a letter to newly installed Sutter Health CEO Warner Thomas encouraging the not-for-profit healthcare giant to “find a solution” to meet the needs of former Mickelson pool users.
Mayor Gee’s letter to Sutter brings the total number of cities and towns expressing formal support for the plight of former Mickelson pool users to 20 out of 20. To date, every city and town in San Mateo County has passed resolutions, issued proclamations, or sent formal letters of support to Sutter Health urging them to act quickly in support of suffering pool patrons.
“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,” wrote Mayor Gee.
This welcome support from Redwood City comes amid several encouraging developments regarding the Mickelson pool. During her quarterly report to the Peninsula Health Care District (PHCD) last month, 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 of and assess the cost of refurbishing the Mickelson therapy pool.
At the same January meeting, PHCD directors also passed a motion to create an ad hoc committee comprising members from the PHCD, Sequoia Healthcare District, San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, and Redwood City YMCA dedicated to collaborating with Sutter to find a way to reopen the Mickelson pool.
“Having the support of all twenty 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. “We hope that Mills-Peninsula CEO Wagner and Sutter Health will collaborate with the ad hoc committee to expeditiously reopen this medically necessary facility.”
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 San Mateo County. Before its untimely closure in March 2020, the Mickelson therapy pool was a lifeline for seniors, adults and children with disabilities, chronic pain sufferers, pregnant women, and other patients throughout the county.
For more information, to sign their petition, or to make a donation, please visit warmwaterwellness.org