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Warm Springs opens second rehab hospital (w/video)

By Elena Watts
Jan. 5, 2014 at 10 p.m.
Updated Jan. 4, 2014 at 7:05 p.m.

Physical therapy assistant Erin Koenig role plays as a patient as  Director of Rehabilitation Tommy Beyer guides Kalleen Zamzow through a lift training exercise at Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital.

For information

Call Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital of Victoria at 361-894-7830 or visit 101 James Coleman Drive in Victoria.

Employees of Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital of Victoria sorted through medical supplies, labeled bins, reviewed operations and organized their areas before opening day Monday.

"The new hospital serves both young and old patients in need of physical, occupational and speech therapies," said Annette Fossati, director of business development for the hospital.

The 26-bed inpatient hospital is on James Coleman Drive, around the corner from the Warm Springs Specialty Hospital of Victoria, a long-term acute care center that has been in operation since 1998.

The new Victoria hospital is focused on in-patient rehabilitation. The older hospital will offer long-term acute care, or treatment for complex illnesses that could last for a few days to a few months depending on the patient.

Patients with complex health issues qualify for in-patient rehabilitation in the long-term acute care hospital, which also provides out-patient therapies.

"Those in need of in-patient rehab without other serious health problems have been referred to out-of-town hospitals," Fossati said.

Out-patient rehabilitation is an option for some but not everyone, she said. Furthermore, doctors cannot always rely on patients to show up for therapy.

"Patients often rely on others to get to their out-patient rehabilitation appointments because they can't drive themselves," Fossati said. "So their hip or knee replacements might not be successful."

The new rehabilitation hospital focuses on treatment of patients with strokes, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries and multiple traumas.

Patients receive 15 hours of therapy per week, typically divided into three-hour daily sessions, she said.

The minimum stay for patients is four days, and the average stay is 14 to 15 days. Patients with severe conditions might stay as long as 28 days, Fossati said.

"We hired high-caliber local nurses, so doctors know the kind of care their patients will have," Fossati said. "They won't find better care anywhere."

The hospital created 80 new jobs ranging from nursing to purchasing to housekeeping, she said.

Dr. Peter Nguyen, a internal medicine doctor, is the full-time medical director for the new hospital.

"Dr. Nguyen will move his office to our building and continue his private practice in addition to his duties here," she said.

Nursing centers also offer rehabilitative services, but residents are not required to take advantage of them, Fossati said.

Both Warm Springs hospitals, as well as the 23-bed long-term post acute care hospital located within DeTar Hospital, are are owned by Post Acute Medical. The company owns hospitals across the country.

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