• News
  • \
  • Sitrin Wellness Celebrates Silver Anniversary; Longtime Participant Jo Ann Colacicco Testifies to Benefits
Jo Ann Colaccicco

Sitrin Wellness Celebrates Silver Anniversary; Longtime Participant Jo Ann Colacicco Testifies to Benefits

“If I can help just one person to feel better, then I have done a good thing.”

Jo Ann Colacicco may be the best proponent of aquatic therapy that we’ve ever met, and she has been doing it on her own for some 25 years through the Sitrin Wellness Program.

Jo Ann swears that her aquatic fitness routine at Sitrin has kept her out of a wheelchair. She suffered the effects of a very serious car accident at age 49, has arthritis and has had a number of surgeries, including replacing both hips and knees.

“I can’t say enough about the benefits of exercising in the warm water. You have no pain!” she says.

Now 84, she first learned of Sitrin’s Wellness Program while an inpatient on the Rehab Unit. She was excited to learn that she could use Sitrin’s gym and pools for a nominal monthly membership fee, to keep up her exercises. In fact, she has been a member of the Wellness Program since it started – 25 years ago! She takes an aquatic class two afternoons a week, and attends “open swim” on the other weekdays.

“My doctors tell me that I have defied the odds,” she says.

Fiercely independent, Jo Ann was widowed many years ago and two of her three children live out of state. For this reason, she has chosen to make her health a priority.

“I tell my friends, ‘Sitting will not help your arthritis. No one cares how you look in your swimsuit or if you mess up your hair,’” Jo Ann says.

Jo Ann attends Mass every day, and says that her faith keeps her going. She enjoys visiting with her three children – Dawn, Christopher and Kevin - five grandchildren and 5-year-old great grandchild.

But her best advice for anyone with chronic arthritis pain is to get in the warm water.

“Aquatic therapy changed my life.”

Elizabeth Lockwood, OTR-L and Wellness Coordinator, is very happy to hear Jo Ann’s story.

“Jo Ann embodies what we as therapists tell people every day,” Liz says. “Her commitment to exercise has boosted her quality of life!”

“Our inground heated therapy pools are especially helpful for lessening joint and muscle pain, while increasing endurance and strength,” Lockwood says. “If you’re more comfortable in the gym, we have state-of-the-art fitness equipment for cardio, aerobic and weight training exercise.”

The Wellness & Aquatic Center at Sitrin is open year-round to the community.

For more information about Sitrin’s Wellness Program, click here.

Request a Tour
Title Request a Tour