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BY JIM HALL
HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Fredericksburg has completed construction of a $3.3 million addition.
The wing, with 12 beds, opened last month. The addition increases the total number of beds in the hospital to 52. It also allows the staff to begin serving dialysis patients.
HealthSouth is the area's only inpatient rehab hospital. It opened five years ago adjacent to Mary Washington Hospital and has been busy almost from the start.
"The last four months, we've been pretty close to 90 percent" occupancy, said Donna Phillips, chief executive.
All of the rooms in the new section are private. In the original building, almost all of the rooms are double-occupancy.
The private rooms make it easier to place patients, Phillips said.
Some patients have infections and must be isolated, she said. Other times a male patient may need care, but the only vacancy is in a room with a female patient.
"This gives us the flexibility to mix and match," Phillips said.
Two of the new rooms are outfitted for patients who need dialysis, a blood-filtering procedure.
Until now, "Patients had to travel to Richmond if they needed inpatient rehab and dialysis," Phillips said.
Patients usually arrive at HealthSouth after a stay at an acute-care hospital, such as Mary Washington.
HealthSouth patients receive up to three hours of therapy each day and often stay for two weeks. Many have suffered strokes or are recovering from major surgery, such as joint replacement or heart bypass.
Jim Hall: 540/374-5433
Number of beds after the expansion
Employees hired because
Number of HealthSouth hospitals in Virginia
Percentage of HealthSouth patients who transfer from Mary Washington Hospital
Percentage of HealthSouth patients who have suffered