Construction was recently to begin on a new, 20-bed UPMC Rehabilitation Institute, which according to a news release from the UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of Health Sciences, will mark the first Rehabilitation Institute location in Pittsburgh’s east-northeast corridor. The institute is scheduled to open July 1 on the remodeled 6 East wing at UPMC East.

The release notes that the facility will serve as the ninth UPMC Rehabilitation Institute location as part of the system’s in-hospital network that offers specialized inpatient care for individuals requiring physical, occupational, and speech therapy following strokes or brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, various surgeries, and other conditions. The release adds that Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC also opened a Rehabilitation Institute this past winter.

Mark Sevco, president of UPMC East, states, “It’s very exciting for us to open this in the eastern suburbs under the inpatient care of the Rehabilitation Institute. Utilizing an 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. We continue to move forward with new clinical care.”

The release reports that UPMC East recently received accreditation from the independent Joint Commission as a primary stroke center. Stroke patients are expected to be among those receiving care at its new Rehabilitation Institute, the system notes. According to the release, Peter Hurh, MD, 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. The Rehabilitation Institute will reportedly bring 15 new-hires to the community, including therapists, a care manager, full-time nurses, liaisons, and more.

Hurh notes that there is a need for more quality in-hospital rehabilitation units, and, “We hope to address that need by opening this new unit at UPMC East, and bringing the Rehabilitation Institute’s experience and expertise to the eastern suburbs and beyond.”

Tim Kagle, executive director, UPMC Rehabilitation Network, echoes Hurh’s sentiments adding, “UPMC is growing in rehabilitation and showing both clinical quality and community success providing the care that people want and need in the neighborhoods and the areas where they live.”

While much of the construction is anticipated to be relatively simple, the release states, the primary focus of the work will encompass the transformation of the waiting room, known as The Wedge, into a therapy gym that will house new equipment, such as body-weight support gait systems, which will be part of the therapeutic curriculum. The transformation will also extend to a multipurpose room, which will become the Activities for Daily Living unit.

[Source: UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of Health Sciences]