Brown Center celebrates 10 years of aquatic healing

Mercedes Ortiz

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CSUN Kinesiology major, Ozzy Larita, and graduate student Natalie Fleming lead an adaptive therapeutic dance class at the Brown Center on Saturday. The center celebrated its 10th anniversary with public tours. Photo credit: Michael Arvizu / Daily Sundial

CSUN Kinesiology major, Ozzy Larita, and graduate student Natalie Fleming lead an adaptive therapeutic dance class at the Brown Center on Saturday. The center celebrated its 10th anniversary with public tours. Photo credit: Michael Arvizu / Daily Sundial

With the idea of helping the community, the Brown Center for Adaptive Aquatic Therapy was founded in 2003 and the CSUN community celebrated its 10th anniversary Saturday.

The Abbott and Linda Brown Western Center for Adaptive Aquatic Therapy serves about 300 clients with different disabilities through programs like aquatic arthritis programs for both children and adults, and land programs that includes adapted and therapeutic exercise.

Janette Knudson, who has a spinal cord injury and is a client at the Brown Center, said she enjoys coming to the center for the water therapy.

“The pool therapy is just amazing, as a quadriplegic I get deep and high and the warm water immediately feels wonderful, and the exercise is very much needed,” Knudson said. “I’ve learned to swim independently and I’m like a free woman in the pool, I don’t need a mechanical device so it’s wonderful.”

Dr. Sam Britten, founder and former director of the Brown Center said it took him about five years of fundraising and several years of research around the country to find out how to do what he had in mind.

“It just got to me that something (was) missing, we (needed) a therapy pool facility because so much more can be done in the water than it can be done on land, so I did research and I traveled all around the United States, came back and I drew a plan, and the dean approved that plan,” Britten said. “It took years of fundraising, but that day that the president called me and said ‘lets stop talking about it lets build,’ that was one of the greatest days of my life,” Britten said.

After Brown Center director Taeyou Jung welcomed everyone to the celebration, Sylvia A. Alva, the dean of the College of Health and Human Development,  gave some official remarks.

Attendees were given tours of the facilities. Dr. Jung said the tours are to show how the facilities work to those that are not that familiar with their programs, and to inspire them to sign up for a program or donate if they liked what they saw.

“We are thanking the support of all these people, because we have a lot of donors, so we want to thank them, and ask them to continue to support, because it’s a non-profit program so without the support from the community it’s impossible to run our center,” Jung said.

Liz Garcia, first year graduate student in the adaptive physical activity program in kinesiology, said this center has very good and well-maintained equipment and extraordinary pools, and that deserves the celebration.

“We are east of the Mississippi the only pool that can land down seven feet, that itself is very special, so we can lower the pool down seven feet and increase it up to five feet, whatever we want,” Garcia said. “The entire facility is state of the art, there is almost nothing like it anywhere else.”

The Brown Center offers all these programs for students and staff for free.