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Peter B. Lewis Aquatic & Therapy Center

27300 Cedar Rd
Cleveland, Ohio 44122
Closed | Hours

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Peter B. Lewis Aquatic Center ‘the place to be’

Posted February 10, 2023 in Articles


Peter B. Lewis Aquatic Center, on the campus of Menorah Park in Beachwood, provides treatment for a variety of physical ailments affecting its clients by using aquatic therapy to strengthen and revitalize their bodies.

The aquatic facilities consist of a large lap pool with wheelchair access, three smaller therapy pools and a hot tub. Unlike traditional lap pools, the one at Peter B. Lewis Aquatic Center is uniquely designed to deepen across its width, rather than its length. This allows members more space to walk, run or swim in the same depth for their therapeutic exercises, said Joy Nowels, an aquatic therapy instructor at the center.

Peter B. Lewis Aquatic Center ‘the place to be’

Allan Goldner relaxes in the hot tub.

“These folks in this lane,” said Nowels, gesturing to the members in the lane with six-foot depth, “are off the ground and they’re water jogging, which is another real benefit of being able to be completely suspended, depending on what hurts.”

For people whose comfort levels are more adept to touching the floor of the pool, the shallower lanes allow them to walk and run with their feet on the ground, she added.

Nowels, who was a competitive swimmer in high school and college, said she discovered her passion for aquatic therapy after a car accident left her with a crushed pelvis. She was able to recover by attending an aquatic arthritis class.

Peter B. Lewis Aquatic Center ‘the place to be’

Instructor Joy Nowels leads Donna Faye Harris, left in pool, and Mary Kellner in exercises

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“I loved it so much,” she said. “I got so strong, so fast and recovered from my injuries; things I couldn’t do on land but I could do in the water. So, after I got done with that, I was like, ‘I want to be able to share this to other people.’ So, I went back to school and got my certification at Lakeland (Community College in Kirtland) for personal training.”

She instructs multiple classes at the center, including Function and Flow, which promotes balance, flexibility and strength.

“It is so awesome because people say to me all the time, ‘If I couldn’t get in the water, I would die,’” Nowels said. “One of my clients – ‘You brought me back to life.’ – That’s what she says to me. They are so grateful to be able to be in the water, and I just love being with them.”

Donna Faye Harris, one of the participants in the Function and Flow class, called the Peter B. Lewis Aquatic Center “the place to be.”

Peter B. Lewis Aquatic Center ‘the place to be’

Donna Faye Harris warms up for her aquatic therapy class.

“I wish everyone could be at PBL,” she said. “The therapists are awesome.”

She said she tells everyone she meets that they need to go to the pool if they have something that is ailing them.

“(There’s) no place to be than Peter B. Lewis,” Harris said.

Another Function and Flow participant, Mary Kellner, has been going to the center since 2006, she said. All of the exercises help her. One of the most beneficial has been using resistance bells in the deep water.

“Because of the therapy here, I’ve been able to walk,” Kellner said.

Naomi Wadsworth said has been going to the center for a little over a month. She started going there after her doctor recommended it to help with pain she was experiencing in her ankle and knee.

“Some of the pain I was in is kind of lessening,” Wadsworth said. “It’s a great program. It really works. It really helps. I can do things in the water that I can’t do out.”


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