Hurt feelings over Henry Ford Health System decision to close fitness center - Detroit Free Press
Sep 12, 2020 2 mins, 4 secs

Gym members and employees gathered Friday in front of Detroit's FitnessWorks gym, which is closing because Henry Ford Health System is taking over the space. (Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press).

Members of a now-closed Detroit fitness center gathered outside the building one last time Friday afternoon to say farewell and reminisce about a place that, for them, was as much about building friendships as working out.

Two days earlier, Henry Ford Health System made a surprise announcement that it would permanently close the center, FitnessWorks, 6525 2nd Ave. in the city's New Center, because the hospital system owns the building and needs the fitness center's space to expand its patient physical therapy services.

Theresa Terns,JoAnn Boyd and LaVerne Smith were among the protesters gathered in front of Fitness Works gym, which is closing because Henry Ford Health System is taking over the space on September 11, 2020. (Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press).

More: Henry Ford opens new Detroit sports medicine center next to Pistons.

“I believe that had this been a facility in Birmingham, this would not have happened this way — if at all," said member Tina Dews, 51, of Detroit, who was among the roughly 45 FitnessWorks members and staff at Friday's gathering.

Membership rates were $65 a month or $49 for those affiliated with Henry Ford Health System.

FitnessWorks opened in 1996 as a collaboration between Henry Ford Health and General Motors, then headquartered nearby in what is now Cadillac Place, to create a place for their employees to exercise.

The health system said it is working with Midtown Health to find an alternative spot for FitnessWorks members.

"We are very appreciative of the FitnessWorks members who used the facility for their health and wellness needs over the years," Henry Ford spokesman David Olejarz said in an email. .

Gym members and employees gathered Friday in front of FitnessWorks gym in Detroit, which is closing because Henry Ford Health System is taking over the space.

The physical therapy services moving into the FitnessWorks space are different from the Henry Ford sports medicine services that relocated out of the 2nd Avenue building last year and into the new $37 million William Clay Ford Center for Athletic Medicine, 690 Amsterdam in Midtown

Gym members and employees gathered Friday in front of FitnessWorks gym, which is closing because Henry Ford Health System is taking over the space

Olejarz, the Henry Ford spokesman, wouldn't say whether the fitness center was profitable, only that "it was never intended to be a moneymaking venture."

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