Spring 2017 Blog Series 6 of 10: CASA Students Apply Their Learned Skills to Real Clients at Timpany Center

Photo credit: David Schmitz | San José State University

When Kinesiology Professor Nancy Megginson heard about the closing of Timpany Center in December, 2008, little did she realize that eight years later, the College of Applied Sciences and Arts (CASA) would be managing the center in conjunction with the County of Santa Clara.

“A colleague of mine was leaving and I learned that the management of the center was up for bid,” recalls Professor Megginson. “I mentioned it to then Kinesiology department chair, Shirley Reekie and she said ‘go for it.’”

On April 6, 2009, CASA opened the doors of Timpany Center with 22 members. “Everything had been taken out of the building and the only thing left was the therapeutic pool,” remembers Professor Megginson. “Lucky for us, the County of Santa Clara provided a $3 million renovation of the pool.”

Timpany Center opened in Fall 2009 to the general public with a large celebration that included many community leaders and elected officials. From the start, the center was used as a service learning vehicle for CASA students.

Professor Christine Di Salvo required her Public Relations Campaigns class to write a public relations plan for the center. The nursing students provide Healing Bones and Body classes as well as provide blood pressure screenings for members. The Nutrition majors teach members about healthy eating habits. In addition, the departments of Kinesiology and Health Science received a $750,000 grant with Stanford regarding diabetes prevention and research aimed for persons of native heritage that include American Indians, African Americans, South Americans and Samoans. Yearly, SJSU’s Center for Healthy Aging and Multicultural Populations (CHAMP) and the Santa Clara County Department of Health and Aging Services holds its annual senior population health fair at the center.

Photo credit: David Schmitz | San José State University

Timpany Center offers specialized services within a warm water pool, as well as a spa. Both the pool and spa have accessible ramps and small steps. Wheelchairs and walkers are available to use for easy pool and spa entry and transfer. The center’s low $50 monthly membership gives members access to up to 12 hours/day of pool and spa use. In addition, clients have access to open aquatic exercise, a wide range of aquatic based classes, land based classes, swim lessons and personal training for individuals of all ages and abilities.

All employees at the Center are SJSU students.  This is an opportunity for students to be employed while attending college. In addition, there are approximately 24 interns completing at least 125 hours at one time. “These students are working with clients in adapted physical activities,” says Professor Megginson.

“The Timpany Center memberships have increased instrumentally,” says Professor Megginson. “The very first day we had 22 members, now we have about 7500 people who use the Center monthly.” Four years ago, a scholarship program was instituted. Low income residents can apply and if they meet the criteria in regards to income and need the services their monthly fee is $25. “The center has a great community reputation and folks find out about it through word of mouth,” says Professor Megginson.

Photo credit: David Schmitz | San José State University

The Timpany Center was built in 1979 and is located behind the Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System. “Timpany Center has proven to be a great relationship between SJSU and the County of Santa Clara, however the winners are our students who have a unique opportunity to apply their learned skills on real clients,” says Professor Megginson.

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