The elevator takes you comfortably up two floors. There, the namesake Simone Herz welcomes her visitors in the midst of muted bright colors, indirect light sources and a friendly feel-good atmosphere. Alexander Stöhr is standing next to her. Both are physiotherapists, and the place that makes you feel so welcome is their new work environment.
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Additional sports room is created
Three large therapy rooms have been available to the three-person team for their treatments since July 1st. Simone Herz, who had previously taken over the practice of her predecessor Veronika Grosche on Kirchweg, decided to move because of the desire to enlarge the rooms and facilities.
But before that it had to be rebuilt, explains Cunewaldes building authority manager Andrea Richter. In order to meet the requirements of the practice, the municipality of Cunewalde invested around 30,000 euros in the renovation of the upper floor, where the orthopedist Dieter Gammerdinger also holds his weekly consultation.
After the work was completed, there was enough space for new sports equipment to activate the musculoskeletal system in the 100 square meter heart chamber. An approximately 30 square meter sports room is currently being built in the rooms formerly used by a fuel trade. Simone Herz estimates that five to six patients will be able to train there together in group courses in the future.
Waiting times for new patients should be shorter
What will not change with the move is Simone Herz’s philosophy. She explains: “We definitely want to preserve our individuality, continue to work with high quality and, above all, actively work with people,” she promises. This is made possible by a wide range of services: In addition to massages and classic therapies, the heart chamber also offers special treatments for shoulder pain and even Nordic walking courses – to name just a selection from the extensive range of therapies.
“Here we take care of everything from the shoulder to the Achilles tendon,” sums up Simone Herz with a smile. The fact that this is well received by patients is proven by the great demand: new patients currently have to expect a waiting time of up to three weeks before they can be treated in the heart chamber.
But that, promises Alexander Stöhr, will relax from September. Then he too will fully immerse himself in the new practice. Stöhr is a kind of returnees, he was head of the school for physiotherapy in Zittau for a long time – until the longing for therapeutic work with people drove him back into the practical therapy profession. “Always teaching only theoretically,” he says in retrospect, “that would not have been for me in the long run.”
The community originally wanted to sell the building
The move of the Herzkammer to the former Heine School in Hauptstrasse 119 proves that the plans of the community of Cunewalde for a subsequent use of the property built in 1890, in which the Polytechnic High School was housed until 1982, is working. And that although the municipality that owns the building would have preferred to sell the house at the time. Because no buyer could be found, the municipal administration decided in 2003 to convert and renovate the house. For a total cost of around 860,000 euros, only the shell was left of the original structure during the work in 2004.
An improvement of the medical offer – for the Cunewalders, but also for citizens from neighboring municipalities like Löbau – was already the declared aim of Mayor Thomas Martolock (CDU) at that time. The plan worked: The general practitioner Dr. Thomas Hanisch belongs – just like the orthopedic practice of Dr. Dieter Gammerdinger – already on the long-established offers in the supply center Mittelcunewalde.
At the beginning of this year, the specialist in internal medicine, Dr. Janine Heyne, after she gave up her job as an employed doctor and started her own practice. With Gerald Voigt’s insurance agency, which continues to reside on the first floor, Hauptstrasse 119 is finally fully occupied – and Thomas Martolock is satisfied: “Cunewalde has never had such a diverse range of medical services in one place,” he says.