The first of a three-part, $64 million expansion and reconstruction at Arlington Heights-based Lutheran Home will open today and start taking patients early next month.
MyRehab is a 78-room short-term rehabilitation facility for patients recovering from falls, surgery, pneumonia or any other condition that requires additional medical attention after a hospital stay, officials said. While the plans for the three-story project were at first controversial with neighbors, Roger Paulsberg, CEO and president of Lutheran Home, said the organization now has a "fantastic" relationship with the community.
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Officials said they are excited to show off the state-of-the-art facility and numerous amenities at Wednesday's grand opening. The facility will offer physical, occupational, speech and respiratory therapy seven days a week.
Each room at MyRehab will have its own thermostat and private bathroom, features that are rare for such a facility, said Linda Smith, marketing services director at Lutheran Home.
"We saw a need in the community for a dedicated short-term rehab center," Smith said, adding that planners created "a spa-like atmosphere."
Before the new facility, short-term patients were mixed in with long-term patients at Lutheran Home. The average stay for short-term patients is 14 to 21 days, she said.
The facility also has a room with a model kitchen, laundry room and bathroom so therapists can make sure patients can perform all their day-to-day tasks before sending them home.
Each floor has a spa with a larger bathroom and a therapy tub. A large living area on the first floor includes couches, a fireplace, books, and space for visitors, as well as bistro-style dining.
The new rooms are technology friendly with smart TVs, Wi-Fi and call buttons that connect to nurse's iPhones, officials said.
"This is the Four Seasons of rehab," said Phil Hemmer, administrator at Lutheran Home.
Family members can visit 24 hours a day and there are two suites on each floor for families that want to stay overnight, she said. The facility will have a physician on-site 24/7 in case of emergencies.
"Patients have a lot of choices to make about where they receive rehab care, but we think the environment we are providing will be the best choice out there," Hemmer said.
The new facility is the first part in a project estimated to cost more than $64 million. Starting later this month, Lutheran Home will begin renovations on the Olson Healthcare Pavillion, built in the 1970s. Over the next two years the entire pavilion will be gutted and redone, including adding private bathrooms to each room for long-term patients, Smith said.
"It's not your grandmother's nursing home," Paulsberg said.
When the rehab center and expansion were approved by the Arlington Heights village board in September 2012, the plans received mixed reviews from residents who supported the project but were concerned about parking, noise and green space.
Paulsberg said officials held meetings with neighbors during construction and have been responsive to any issues.
"We are part of the neighborhood," he said. "We aren't an institution; this is a home."
The high-tech, amenity-rich facility is what Paulsberg said he sees as the future of modern health care.
"Ultimately the goal is to help people rehab in a quicker and more high-quality manner," he said. "If you feel positive and are in a good environment, you'll be happier and recuperate that much faster."