Answers to Healing Waters Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Healing Waters Foundation, Inc?
A: Healing Waters Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that was
established in Alan Follender’s, M.D. memory to provide the Estes Park Valley a warm water pool because none was available at the time he was alive.

Q: What makes the Healing Waters pool special?
A: The Healing Waters pool uses warm water – approximately 94° F. Most swimming pools are cool to cold. Warm water helps to relax the muscles and minimizes cramps which would defeat the therapeutic intent. This pool has an underwater treadmill to allow exercise with minimal stress to the knees, hips and back yet reap the benefit of a good workout against the resistance of water. An underwater camera system allows an individual the ability to observe the movement of his or her legs. Resistance jets allow a person to swim against a current in a limited space. Massage hoses attach to the jet outlets to ease aching muscles in a relaxed atmosphere.

Q: How big is the pool?
A: The pool is 14 x 8 feet and approximately 4 1⁄2 feet deep. The water level can be adjusted to accommodate short clients.

Q: Is the pool private?
A: This pool is private in the sense that you can close a door so you are not so exposed as you are in a public facility. It is available to everyone on a sign up basis as long as they do not have any conditions that would be contraindicated for pool usage. Up to 4 people can use the pool depending on the activity, but the primary intent is for individual use.

Q: Who will benefit from using the pool?
A: Everyone will benefit from use of this pool. It is warm, private, clean, properly maintained and relaxing. It can be used for relaxation or a heavy workout. The beauty of Healing Waters is it can serve a wide segment of society ranging between healthy folks who enjoy water as a means of exercise to those folks with post surgery recovery needs. This pool is ideal for rehabilitation of hip and leg injuries such as total knee replacement, fractured pelvis or tibias and for therapy for recovery from stroke and other neurological impairments. The pool may speed recovery from athletic injuries such as ligament sprains, muscle tears, and arthroscopic surgery because in water a person is able to bear weight sooner than on land which stimulates bone growth.

Q: Where is the pool?
A: The pool is in a building directly behind Rambo’s Liquor and immediately east of the Grumpy Gringo restaurant.

Q: Are there changing facilities available?
A: A wheelchair-accessible shower, shower chair, and changing facilities are provided.

Q: What about wheelchair users and others who may have difficulty with stairs?
A: Healing Waters is at ground level and the pool has a hydraulically-powered chair lift that allows users in wheelchairs and others to easily move into and out of the water.

Q: Is Healing Waters affiliated with a religious organization?
A: No. The name “Healing Waters” refers to the beneficial properties of warm-water therapy. Treatment in warm water is one of the oldest therapeutic treatment methods. Think of President Roosevelt at Warm Springs.

Q: Where did the money come from for the Healing Waters Foundation?
A: The initial seed money came from Nancy Follender as a memorial to her husband, Dr. Alan Follender. Alan was a neurologist who suffered a traumatic brain injury as the result of a cycling accident. Alan received aquatic therapy during his recovery and those treatments were where he made the most progress. Alan was 6'1" tall and the buoyancy water made it easier for Alan to walk. Nancy’s family has had a cabin in Estes Park for over 50 years; she and Alan visited frequently before his accident. When Alan died, Nancy made a gift to establish the Healing Waters Foundation for the purpose of building a warm-water therapy pool in Estes Park. Additional donations have been made to allow the pool to be completed by Alan’s friends, your neighbors here in town, the Slack and Kuhns family and grants.

Q: What grants has Healing Waters Foundation, Inc. received?
A: Grants have been received from the Northern Colorado Community Foundation for brochures, from the Noon Rotary for a shower wheelchair 2007, Automated External Defibrillator 2011, railing 2012; Community Thrift Store, Sunrise Rotary 2013, In kind gifts twice from the Sunrise Rotary, and from the Christopher Reeves Foundation for a chair lift.

Q: Who can use the pool?
A: The pool is open to everyone. Four employees are there to assist a person using the pool. Volunteers fill other hours during the week so that folks may use the pool throughout the day. Each pool user is screened to ensure their safety in the pool. They are each trained how to use the pool properly and must complete a waiver of liability. The Healing Waters staff, volunteers and Board of Directors do everything possible to ensure a person’s safety but whenever there is water, there is the potential to slip. Recently a railing was added to further ensure pool users’ safety.Currently, pool usage is available 8 to 5 PM Monday through Friday and on Saturday as needed. The pool is closed on Sundays for cleaning, repair work, water changes.

Q: Are the charges for use of the pool covered by insurance and Medicare?
A: No, the Healing Waters pool is a cash only not for profit business. However, healthcare providers may use the pool for helping a person return to health faster. In that case, the healthcare provider can charge your insurance for aquatic therapy and then pay Healing Waters for the usage of the facility.

Q: What about healthcare providers who want to use the pool for their patients?
A: All healthcare providers are welcome provided that they have the appropriate instruction. We will conduct special training sessions to teach them in the use of the pool, their costs and responsibilities . Please call 586-9205 to schedule a time for training.

Q: Does the pool use chlorine?
A: No. Healing Waters is sanitized with bromine. It holds up better with hot water and the smell is less offensive. The pool has a ventilation system to remove excess humidity and to vent vapors with a complete air exchange every 15 minutes.

Q: What does it cost to use the pool?
A: The pool costs $15 per one-half hour. Healing Waters is a nonprofit, so the intent is to keep the charge as low as possible to cover the operating costs and provide additional funds for necessary improvements. Because of this, we do not accept credit card payments at this time.

Q: Can I drop in anytime?
A: The pool is scheduled for use in half-hour increments. You are welcome to drop in any time to see the pool but an appointment must be scheduled for usage. Please call 586-9205 to make a reservation once you have been screened. Please also call to cancel any scheduled appointments if you cannot attend so some one else may use the pool during that time period.

Q: Is the fee for using the pool tax deductible?
A: Unfortunately, no, but it may be deductible as a medical expense.

Q: Are donations to Healing Waters tax deductible?
A: Yes. The Healing Waters Foundation was chartered as a 501(c)3 corporation in 2005. We welcome donations because we always have obligations to cover.

Q: Do donations to Healing Waters go to pay the staff?
A: Donations are normally designated for a specific purpose however, if they are not, the money is used for operating cost of which staff salary is one obligation..

Q: Are towels available for use at the pool?
A: Yes, we restrict usage to two towels per customer because they do cost money..

Q: Who painted the picture on the wall?
A: Ben Brown, an artist who has painted all over the Southwest in Children’s Hospitals painted the beautiful murel. He was commissioned by Heidi Rothberg.

Q: Who are the Healing Waters Foundation, Inc. Board Members?
A: Chair: Anne Slack, Vice Chair: Heidi Rothberg, Secretary/Treasurer: Chris Bieker, Directors: Bruce Rolstad, Kaye Maranowicz, Kathy Hale, Mark Angle.

Q: Who helped build Healing Waters Aquatic Center?
A: Larry, Cherie & Scott Pettyjohn of Estes Park Plumbers Inc., Ray Duggan of Ray Duggan Builders & Design, Tom Adkins of Adkins Electric, Thomas Beck of Beck Architects PC, Abbey Carpet & Tile of Estes,

Q: What are the yellow and blue boxes around town?
A: They are for recycling ink cartridges. The money from the cartridges in one small way to help pay for Healing Waters upkeep.

Q: How may someone help with Healing Waters Foundation, Inc.?
A: Call 970-586-9205.

  • There is something about being in the water that has made movement accessible to me again. Maybe the amniotic quality of the environment hits a reset button, returning me to a mental space wherein limits have yet to be imposed.

    Rebekah Steers
  • Healing Waters frees me from pain that I experience all the rest of my waking hours.

    Cindi Lovelace
  • The workouts and rehab in the pool have allowed me to exercise and build strength in ways I can not do on land as a result of arthritis.

    Kathy McGill
  • Healing Waters helped me relax and loosen my muscles and helped my knees.

    Sara Gucker
  • I always have a renewed sense of life and hope after each session at Healing Waters.

    Cindi Lovelace
  • The quiet setting is perfect for relaxation and stress release. Staff members and volunteers work hard and are always attentive and pleasant and supportive.

    Peggy Mills
  • The water and treadmill allowed me to bear weight on my lower extremities much sooner and work core motion muscles, reducing atrophy.

    Chris Bieker
  • When I first started physical therapy at Healing Waters I was struck by all the amenities available. Someone really utilized a working knowledge of disability setting that place up.

    Rebekah Steers
  • There is something about being in the water that has made movement accessible to me again. Maybe the amniotic quality of the environment hits a reset button, returning me to a mental space wherein limits have yet to be imposed.

    Nancy Roko
  • Now in the pool, I’m enjoying running. There is something magical about the pool, I’m sure!

    Cindi Lovelace
  • In the time I am in its soothing warm water, I am pain free, and many times pain free for hours afterwards as well.

    Rebekah Steers
  • Healing Waters helped facilitate my rediscovery of the joy of movement.

    Kathy McGill
  • My workouts prior to my total knee replacement helped me gain strength and have aided in a speedier recovery! I will remain an avid participant and advocate!

    Peggy Mills
  • Using Healing Waters has resulted in a sense of success and control in my life.

    Chris Bieker
  • Aqua therapy was instrumental in maintaining a positive attitude and overall positive outlook on my situation. It made me feel like a regular person again.