Douglas Dispatch

by Aaliyah Montoya

December 18, 2015


DOUGLAS — Copper Queen Community Hospital and the City of Douglas hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, presenting the new Douglas Life Trail at Airport Park. The $50,000 exercise trail was donated by CQCH, with proceeds from their annual golf tournament, as part of their Community Health Improvement Program (CHIP).  The City of Douglas also invested $10,000 in equipment and services, says Mayor Danny Ortega Jr.

“Hospitals that sit behind walls and wait for people to be sick are no longer with us,” said Jim Dickson, Chief Executive Officer of CQCH. “We are now reaching out to improve the health of the community, and we found that exercise is the best way to do that.”

The Life Trail comprises seven workout stations, which feature more than 15 pieces of equipment, all designed for adults ages 50 years and older.  Each station primarily focuses on functional fitness exercises such as shoulder stability and strength, squat exercises, upper and lower-body cycling, yoga, stretching, and more.  Two stations have been designed specifically for those who are in a wheelchair, focusing on Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNP) and leg extension exercises, tricep strength and torso stability.

Douglas is the first to have a Life Trail from CQCH, says Dickson, as planning is underway for a similar project in Bisbee.  “This is the new healthcare,” Dickson said. “Exercise is the best leverage of healthcare dollars. It reduces blood pressure and weight, and helps people with diabetes. We figure this is the best expense for helping people in Douglas as we become more and more prevalent.”

CQCH recently debuted the Copper Queen Douglas Medical Complex, an extension of the former — now improved — Copper Queen clinic. Having added a Quick Care unit and Physical Therapy department, CQCH has also began the construction of a freestanding emergency care facility.

“We can get more bang for our buck by treating people whole, instead of waiting for them to get sick and heading over to the clinic,” said John Harris, CQCH Board President. “You get a lot more benefits with the money you spend by treating people from the very beginning. It makes you live better, faster, and longer.”  Harris continued, “We’re really happy to be partnered with the City of Douglas on this project and hope that we can do many more things like it.”

Mayor Danny Ortega Jr. noted that Airport Park has been informally designated as one of the healthier parks in the community, having banned smoking earlier this year.  “Another great event for Douglas,” Ortega said. “I walk out here often and the equipment is being utilized every morning which is a great benefit to the city. We’re trying to remain a healthier community and this is just a big thank you, today, to Mr. Dickson.”

The mayor continued, “A huge thank you to Copper Queen, they are such an asset to our community.”

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