COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL)— Tuesday, the doors to a new rehabilitation hospital were opened in north Columbus. Ground broke more than a year ago, and patients are set to walk through the doors early September.
Piedmont Columbus Regional in partnership with Encompass Health unveiled their newest 40-bed inpatient rehabilitation to stakeholders, community leaders, and members of the media.
“This partnership has evolved and expanded. We’ve been in partnership across the river in Phenix City for almost 20 years,” Brad Kennedy, Regional President of Encompass Health told WRBL. “Now we’re up to four joint venture hospital partnerships and two more under construction.”
Their goal is to serve patients recovering from strokes, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, and complex orthopedic conditions.
“This enables us to discharge patients to the right location so that they can get well and ultimately return to life. That’s really what it’s about, is getting people back to life,” Scott Hill, CEO of Piedmont Columbus Regional said. “Sometimes an inpatient rehab stay after an acute care stay is the right path for an individual when they’re trying to get back to their normal activities of daily living. And so that’s really what this is about.”
Many of the tasks therapists will be working on with patients are those people may take for granted like tying your shoes, standing up and down from the toilet, or even rolling over in bed.
“We have an activities of daily living suite here in this building. It’s brand new with a functional washer and dryer, with a stove and a microwave so patients can practice all the things that they need, even if they’re nervous about returning home to their environment by themselves,” Kendra Sermarini, CEO Rehabilitation Hospital of Columbus, Encompass Health said. “They have the ability to practice that here in a safe, controlled environment, to feel confident in their ability to return home.”
In addition to aiding the patients and families of those receiving care, this facility will also boost the economy. The rehab center is bringing more than 200 jobs to Columbus, 100 of which are full-time.
“When you talk about a facility like this, it’s got a ripple effect throughout the community. You know, a $40 million facility to construct within the hundred or so folks that are going to work here with an average salary of $65,000 a year,” Brian Sillitto, Vice President, Partnership and Engagement of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce said. “What that means to those who are family members and the money they get spent throughout the community. We call that an economic development, a ripple effect.”
Patients are set to start September 12.
Of the 40 beds, 29 were brought over from Piedmont Columbus Regional’s Northside campus freeing up room for additional ER and surgery recovery beds. 11 additional beds were approved by the state for the rehabilitation center. WRBL got an exclusive sit-down interview with Hill and Sermarini. Tune in Saturday, Sept. 2 at 8 a.m. for that full interview.