Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Select Medical begin construction today on a project to nearly double the number of beds at its joint venture, Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital. Since its opening in July 2010, the medical rehabilitation hospital has seen an increasing number of referrals from physicians throughout central Pennsylvania and beyond seeking inpatient rehabilitation for critically injured patients. The expansion will add 44 new beds to the hospital’s existing 54 beds, nearly doubling the hospital’s size.
Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital provides post-acute care to individuals with stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, amputation, joint replacement and orthopedic conditions, and general medical rehabilitation needs. The goal of care is to help them recover the strength, skills, confidence and independence to return home to family and friends, and work, school or community activities. Responding to a need for specialized rehabilitation services in the region, the Rehabilitation Hospital’s expansion includes the addition of 22 transitional care rehabilitation beds, which will focus on patients with short term rehabilitation needs, an outpatient program specializing in ongoing treatment for traumatic brain injuries and an outpatient wound care program.
“We’re proud to offer area patients direct access to what’s truly becoming the very best in rehabilitation care,” said Scott Guevin, CEO of Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital. “From our multidisciplinary brain injury and spinal cord programs, to specialized pediatric care, and stroke rehab advancements, we have seen tremendous growth. Together with our partners and dedicated staff, the new beds and programs will further help patients who would otherwise have to travel to far-off locations to find similarly advanced treatment.”
The 40,000-square foot expansion project will convert the hospital from a one-story facility to a two-story facility, and the hospital will remain fully operational during the expansion.
“Patients have different needs throughout the various stages of healing,” said Dr. Harold L. Paz, CEO of Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Health System, senior vice president for health affairs, Penn State, and dean, Penn State College of Medicine. “The specialized environment and services offered by Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital have enhanced access to state-of-the-art rehabilitation care for patients throughout central Pennsylvania. The hospital’s ongoing success affirms the vital role partnerships can play in meeting the healthcare needs of the region, and we could not be happier to move forward with Select Medical on this expansion.”
As the Penn State Hershey Rehabilitation Hospital expansion gets underway, the hospital will also see the addition in August of Dr. David R. Gater, Jr. as the inaugural Rocco Ortenzio Chair of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine. In this role, Gater will oversee the clinical programs at the Rehabilitation Hospital. He brings a wealth of experience in clinical care, research and training related to spinal cord injuries and other rehabilitative medical conditions. Gater joins Penn State Hershey from Virginia Commonwealth University and the Department of Veterans Affairs Hunter Holmes McGuire Medical Center.
The expansion is slated for completion by spring 2014.