CHI Franciscan introduces new standalone rehabilitation hospital in Tacoma

The 60-bed inpatient acute rehabilitation hospital is located on eight acres at 815 S. Vassault St. in west Tacoma. Photo by Andrew Fickes

CHI Franciscan Health, in partnership with Kindred Rehabilitation Services, unveiled Tuesday morning a free-standing state-of-the art 60-bed inpatient acute rehabilitation hospital at 815 S. Vassault St. in Tacoma.

The first of its kind in Washington state, and up and down the Interstate 5 corridor, the 64,000-square-foot facility located on eight acres is a project two years in the making. CHI Franciscan administrators reported the $25 million project that broke ground in June of last year was completed on time, safely, and on budget.

“For as many facilities that we have opening, it is really our staff that is driving everything we do on a day-to-day basis,” said Ketul Patel, Franciscan Health’s chief executive officer. “Our staff worked several years to bring this to fruition.”

Kindred Rehabilitation Services, a nationally-recognized provider of premier rehabilitation services at more than a dozen facilities across the U.S., will provide the professional staffing and management services at the two-story hospital – a total of upwards of 200 full-time and part-time personnel.

“We are truly honored to be partnered with CHI,” said Jason Zachariah, president of Kindred. “We will truly elevate (rehabilitation) services in the South Sound and all of Washington. Thank you to all who will make miracles here, and make rehabilitation services here a success.”

Ketul Patel, CEO of CHI Franciscan (left), and Jason Zachariah, president of Kindred Rehabilitation Services, forged a partnership on a new hospital in summer 2016. Photo by Andrew Fickes

Patel said Franciscan Health believes strongly in the value of partnering with organizations like Kindred that bring unique expertise into the region.

“Demand is at an all-time high for rehabilitation services,” Patel said. “In 2017, we served 600 rehabilitation patients. With this new facility, we will be able to double the amount of rehabilitation patients served.”

Patients served by the new facility will be those experiencing the damaging effects of a life-altering injury or illness. Care provided is specialized and tailored to an individual’s treatment plan. Customized and intense rehabilitation treatment programs run the gamut from stroke, brain injury, neurological conditions, trauma, spinal cord injury, amputation, and orthopedic injury.

Patients will stay an average of 12-14 days. Those suffering from a neurological condition will stay longer. Patients will receive a minimum of three hours of therapy per day, at least five days per week. Certified nursing care is provided 24 hours a day. Each patient is assigned a case manager.

Many of the treatment services focus on getting the patient ready for real-world daily activities. An outdoor mobility courtyard, for example, includes a mini-golf course and driving range to simulate hand-and-eye coordination, and pavement and gravel areas to simulate walking across a driveway, or parking lot.

“The outdoor courtyard allows people to relearn how to walk on different surfaces,” said Robert Dickens, the rehabilitation hospital’s chief executive officer. “This new facility will allow our staff to practice the highest level of rehabilitation services.”

The facility is expected to accept the first group of patients later this month or early June. In the future, if demand calls for it, Patel said there is room to expand and increase capacity.

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