Construction began last week on a new, 20-bed UPMC Rehabilitation Institute at UPMC East in Monroeville. It will mark the first Rehabilitation Institute location in Pittsburgh’s east-northeast corridor, complementing the current east-southeast location at UPMC McKeesport and several western locations in the region.
The facility will mark the ninth UPMC Rehabilitation Institute location as part of the system’s in-hospital network that provides specialized inpatient care for people needing physical, occupational and speech therapy after strokes or brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, hip and knee replacements, various surgeries and other conditions.
Peter Hurh, M.D., specialist in inpatient rehabilitation and assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, will serve as the medical director of the new UPMC East location.
He explains that those utilizing the rehabilitation center require three or more hours of therapy daily — in addition to nursing care.
“Geographically speaking, this [location] fills a void,” Hurh says.
He added that the new location creates convenient care for residents of the region’s eastern neighborhoods like Monroeville and Plum.
“We are meeting a community need, in the area where our patients live,” says Mark Sevco, president of UPMC East. “It’s very exciting for us to open this in the eastern suburbs under the inpatient care of the Rehabilitation Institute. Utilizing existing space in a hospital that is very much in growth mode, just short of celebrating its second birthday, is a positive step for us.“
Not only is it convenient for patients, but for the friends and family visiting and assisting them.
“We encourage family and friends … to become involved with the care,” Hurh says.
UPMC East recently was accredited by the independent joint commission as a primary stroke center. Stroke patients are expected to be among those receiving care at its new Rehabilitation Institute.
With UPMC East as the emergency hospital for stroke, the new rehabilitation wing will allow the center to offer medical services and therapy for stroke victims all in one place.
This Rehabilitation Institute will bring at least 15 new hires to the community, among them full-time nurses, therapists, care managers, liaisons and more, according to UPMC.
Construction is considered to be relatively simple, and the renovated wing is scheduled to open July 1, 2014 on UPMC East’s sixth floor, East Wing. The primary focus of the work will entail the transformation of the waiting room, known as The Wedge, into a therapy gym. A multi-purpose room also will become the Activities for Daily Living unit. Also, patients will have private rooms.
Source: UPMC, Peter Hurh, Mark Sevco