It May Be Cold Outside, But the Warm Water Therapeutic Pool Campaign at NCHC Is Heating Up!

Written by Jessica Meadows

North Central Health Care’s Warm Water Therapeutic Pool Capital Campaign Has Raised Over $2.3 Million

Only 1 Month Left to Reach $3 Million Goal!

In September of 2017, the Marathon County Board of Supervisors approved $3 million in capital funding to build a new Warm Water Therapeutic Pool at North Central Health Care (NCHC). This approval was contingent upon a Capital Campaign Committee raising another $3 million in community support by March 1, 2018. The total cost of the therapeutic pool project was estimated at $6 million.

Because of the generosity of hundreds of community members and many local foundations and businesses, over $2.3 million has been pledged to support the Warm Water Therapeutic Pool so far — placing fundraising efforts over two thirds of the way to the $3 million goal. But to meet the full $3 million goal, continued support and pledges are needed.

“We are very fortunate to live in a community where people care about one another and are willing to support programs that help our most vulnerable populations. These are truly exciting times for our organization, our community, and most importantly, all the people NCHC serves in the pool today and hopefully over the next 30 to 40 years. In support of continuing this long tradition of healing and independence, a group of pool supporters called Warm Water Works have faithfully lobbied the Marathon County Board for nearly 10 years to build a new pool. We now ask for the community’s support in ensuring this important community asset remains available for the elderly and individuals suffering with chronic disease, disability, mental illness, and addiction in our community.” — Michael Loy, CEO of North Central Health Care

Patients are eager to talk about their experiences in their own words:

[More videos can be seen here.]

Aquatic therapy is a service of Marathon County Government, which is administered by NCHC. Marathon County is the only county in the state with an aquatic therapy program.

Since opening to the community in 1977, the North Central Health Care Warm Water Therapeutic Pool has served people who live each day seeking to improve their quality of life through therapies that are unique to the Central Wisconsin area. Over 1,400 pool users — from babies and children to adults and seniors — make over 25,000 visits per year to our NCHC therapeutic pool.


In this 90- to 92-degree warm-water environment, individuals of all ages receive recovery treatment and care for a wide variety of ailments, such as:

  • Chronic pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis
  • Injuries
  • Neurological and brain disorders
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • …and other disabilities and diseases

Currently over 200 local physicians regularly refer patients for therapy, with some patients utilizing the pool on a daily basis to maintain their independence.

Over the next 30 years, a new pool will have the potential to impact at least 40,000 to 50,000 people directly, allowing the new facility to be a self-sustaining and viable health care resource for our Central Wisconsin community.

With the opioid crisis our community is facing, the pool has even become a way for physicians to avoid prescribing addictive pain medication. More and more physicians are prescribing warm water therapy.


Built over 40 years ago, the pool has outlived its current useful life and requires replacement. For the most recent status report, visit

To date, pledges and donations have been submitted from individuals, foundations, and businesses from throughout our local community. Over 420 individual pledges have been submitted totaling over $360,000 in support.

In 2017, all pledges under $500.00 were matched 50 cents on every dollar by an anonymous donor up to $25,000. The same anonymous donor has offered a similar matching donation in 2018 and will now match an additional $50,000 for the first $100,000 in individual donations (under $5,000 each) raised in 2018.

Local foundations have generously pledged over $1.63 million, while local businesses have also contributed over $375,000 to support the Warm Water Therapeutic Pool project. All donors wishing to be recognized will receive recognition at the conclusion of the campaign.

Warm Water Works, a community grass-roots advocacy and support group for the pool has been raising funds, sharing information, and providing outreach and communication across Central Wisconsin. From lobbying and educating Marathon County Board Supervisors about warm water aquatic therapy to holding fundraising events — such as bakes sales, chili feeds, homemade pizza sales, and various local events to promote the capital campaign — Warm Water Works has been instrumental in raising funds and awareness of this valuable community resource.


How to Make a Pledge to Support the Warm Water Therapeutic Pool

To make your pledge to support the Warm Water Therapeutic Pool, you can go online to and complete a Pledge Commitment Form. You can also follow all the latest updates and events on Facebook. Follow @NCHCWarmWaterWorks or visit

All pledge forms are due to the North Central Health Care Administration Office by March 1, 2018, and can be mailed to:

1100 Lake View Drive, Wausau, WI 54403

For those interested in donating over $5,000, we ask that you contact the NCHC Warm Water Therapeutic Pool Campaign Committee by calling 715-848-4405. Printed pledge forms are also available at the North Central Health Care Wausau Campus Administration Office and at the Pool.

Jessica_MeadowsJessica Meadows

Communications & Marketing Coordinator  |  North Central Health Care

As the Communications and Marketing Coordinator at North Central Health Care (NCHC), Jessica Meadows is passionate about being able to use her creative talents to connect people to healthcare, resources, and networking that will impact their life in a positive way. Prior to joining NCHC, she was a Creative Director and leader at a marketing agency in the Stevens Point area. With almost 20 years’ experience in print, web, social media, video, radio, and public relations, it was important for her to connect back to her roots here in the Wausau area, where she and her husband raise their two young children. When she’s not busy at an event or volunteering, she enjoys playing sports, coaching, biking, traveling, and exploring the outdoors.  Email Jessica Meadows.

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