Atlanta, GA,
13:00 PM

Shepherd Center Reopens Pool to Patients and the Community After Completing Extensive Renovations

Following 11 months of renovations, Shepherd Center’s pool will once again be open for business, first with a limited opening on Wednesday, November 29, through Friday, December 1, and then a full-schedule opening beginning Saturday, December 2.

The renovations, which began in January 2017, included installation of a surge tank, updating the pump room, replastering the pool and retiling the entire pool deck. The locker rooms have also been completely redone.

“We’ve updated the systems that help the pool run efficiently and have also given the entire area a refreshed look,” said Becky Washburn, MS, wellness manager of Shepherd Center’s ProMotion Gym and Beyond Therapy® program.

The pool was built in 1992 and was last renovated 10 years ago. Just under 25 yards, the pool holds 100,000 gallons of water and is used for inpatient and outpatient therapy, as well as recreational therapy activities such as scuba diving, kayaking, canoeing and swim team practice and events. The pool is also open to the community as part of the ProMotion Gym, which offers fitness classes, swim lessons and personal training to members.

“Having a pool within Shepherd Center allows the hospital to enhance patients’ rehabilitation by giving them the opportunity to work out in the water,” Washburn said. “It also allows the therapists to assess what patients can do after their injury and how they can use aquatics to meet their goals. It’s one more opportunity to give patients a chance to get back to what they did before their injury or to embark on a new journey.”

No one is happier to get back in the water than Paralympic gold medalist Curtis Lovejoy, the coach of the Shepherd Sharks, Shepherd Center’s swim team.

“The pool is a magical place,” said Lovejoy, who was a patient at Shepherd Center after sustaining a spinal cord injury in a car accident in 1986. After his rehabilitation, Lovejoy became a para-athlete, winning multiple Paralympic gold medals in swimming and fencing. “I wouldn’t be as strong and healthy as I am today without the pool.”

Having a place where the Shepherd Sharks can practice and learn from one another promotes teamwork, Lovejoy said. The pool also benefits many other groups. “It’s important to have a pool that everyone can use – patients, the community and people with disabilities,” he added.

From November 29 to December 1, the Shepherd Center pool will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. On December 2, it will be open regular Saturday hours from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will resume normal weekday hours – 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. – on Monday, December 4. The pool is closed on Sundays.

For information on joining Shepherd Center’s ProMotion Gym, contact Becky Washburn at or 404-350-7787.

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center provides world-class clinical care, research, and family support for people experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, traumatic amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. An elite center recognized as both Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s top hospitals for rehabilitation. Shepherd Center treats thousands of patients annually with unmatched expertise and unwavering compassion to help them begin again.