PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Patients at UPMC Mercy Hospital’s Rehabilitation Institute have a new place to work on their recovery.

Officials unveiled the new recovery and rehabilitation park Thursday morning.

“You are in a room. You are in an apartment. You are in a building where you can’t feel the fresh air. You can’t see things like this. This is just gorgeous,” Roseann Torisky said.

Torisky is just one of the patients who will enjoy the new outdoor park. The 15,000 square-foot facility is designed to help rehab patients in their recovery process.

As you walk down the sidewalk, you may not even think about taking a step down off the curb. However, if you are in a wheelchair, learning to navigate the ups and downs is almost like learning to walk all over again.

“It’s not just pushing it on a level surface in a hospital. What’s important is push it as you’d have to push it at home or in a mall or going to a local restaurant, and that’s what the park is about because we present the obstacles to people in this great setting,” Dr. Mike Boninger said,

The $200,000 for the park came from the Walmart Foundation as part of the $19.7 million given to local organizations in Pennsylvania last year.

“We operate globally, but we do give back locally. We believe it is our mission to create opportunities so people can live better, and we consider it our responsibility to make an impact in the communities in which we serve,” Walmart Regional General Manager Dena Wilson said.

“I think this is a reflection of their commitment to not only Mercy Hospital and UPMC, but to this entire community, and we could not have done this without your help. So, we definitely want to thank you for that,” UPMC Mercy Hospital President Will Cook said.

Patients like Torisky do too.

“The therapy department is wonderful. You just feel better when you leave your room, because it’s a happy place. We are a bunch of physical wrecks feeling happy because they are getting us somewhere,” Torisky said.


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