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CMH Senior Health Center is celebrating 20 years

The Citizens Memorial Hospital (CMH) Senior Health Center is celebrating its 20th anniversary with an open house from 9-11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 26. The Center is at 1840 W. Broadway St. in Bolivar.

The celebration includes healthy snacks and opportunities to help support free fitness for area seniors:

  • Order a 20th anniversary T-shirt, with prices ranging from $15-$20, by Jan. 26. The T-shirts will arrive in February.
  • Buy tickets to win a gift basket or the grand prize pendant donated by Miller’s Fine Jewelry, valued at $200.

Donations help to maintain and purchase new exercise equipment. Order a T-shirt or purchase drawing tickets at

About the CMH Senior Health Center

Area businesses and individuals received Neighborhood Assistance Program tax credits for donations to build the Senior Health Center. After a groundbreaking in July 2003, the facility opened on Jan. 26, 2004. Within a month, 400 people had joined the center.

“It grew with leaps and bounds,” said Jody Pool, Senior Health Center coordinator. “Now we’re up close to 4,000 members through the years.”

The center includes cardio equipment like NuSteps, bikes, treadmills and seated ellipticals. It has weight equipment, including hand weights and a multi-gym machine. Other features include an aquatic therapeutic pool, a hot tub and an outdoor walking trail. Exercise classes help build strength, flexibility and balance. Some of them are chair-based, which is helpful for people with arthritis or balance issues.

“Everything we do here has the senior in mind,” Pool said.

Keeping seniors moving and socializing

Membership is free to people 55 and older living in Polk, Greene, Dallas, Dade, Hickory, Cedar and St. Clair counties.

“Older people might not feel as comfortable going to a regular gym,” member and volunteer Linda Wainscott said. “The people here are in your own age group and have their own health issues. And Jody is an excellent teacher and very patient with us.”

The facility is also an excellent place for seniors to interact socially.

“They come to exercise, but they also make friends,” Pool said. “We’ve even had a couple of marriages over the course of the 20 years. We have lots of friendships and people coming here to exercise, get out of the house and enjoy themselves.”

Davie Kaudle is 92 and has been a member for almost 20 years. His regular workout routine includes 24 minutes on the treadmill and 30 minutes on the NuStep three times a week. The other two weekdays, he attends the Tai Chi class.

“I can use a completely different routine,” he said. “Tai Chi helps me with my coordination and balance. At my age, I have to be more careful when I stand up and get my balance before I take a step.”

Kaudle encourages other seniors and retirees to join the CMH Senior Health Center.

“Other people our age need to be out here because they’re sitting at home in a recliner or watching TV or not exercising,” he said. “The medical people will tell you that seniors need to be exercising. That’s one of the things I feel like has helped me through the years.”

As a volunteer, Wainscott helps Pool with various tasks. Volunteers staff the front desk, greeting members and guests and completing paperwork. They also give facility tours and clean workout equipment.

“There’s so many people in their 80s, their 90s that come faithfully,” she said. “That’s very inspirational to me that I can live and be a healthy person at 80 and 90.”

Want to join?

Membership at the CMH Senior Health Center is free and open to individuals 55 and older living in Polk, Greene, Dallas, Dade, Hickory, Cedar and St. Clair counties. Stop by the facility to take a tour and pick up enrollment paperwork.

Steps for joining:

  1. Submit the enrollment packet, including your medical history and a liability waiver.
  2. Submit a medical release signed by your physician if you have medical conditions.
  3. Complete a 30-minute orientation to become familiar with the exercise equipment and safety guidelines.

Call 417-777-7171 or visit for more information.


CMH Senior Health Center by the numbers:

  • Number of members since opening in January 2004: 3,845
  • Current active membership: 150+
  • Average number of visits per day: 48
  • Total number of visits in 2023: 10,888
  • Number of volunteers: 22
  • Average number of volunteer hours per month: 171
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