Arlington Heights rehab center aims to be more hotel than hospital
Officials at the first stand-alone short-term rehabilitation center in the Northwest suburbs say they hope a stay at the Arlington Heights facility will be more like a hotel visit than a hospital stay.
Transitional Care of Arlington Heights, 1200 N. Arlington Heights Road, has 120 beds in mostly private suites for patients who need a bridge between hospital and home while recovering from acute and chronic conditions. The $27 million facility, built in a little more than a year on the site of a former AT&T building, likely will start accepting its first patients in August.
Guests -- as they will be called at Transitional Care instead of patients -- typically will stay between three days and three weeks after being discharged from a hospital, said Administrator Megan Mulherin.
"There is a need for this kind of center in the area. Often times a rehab is attached to a nursing home and that may not fit everyone's needs," said Charles Ross, chief strategy officer with Transitional Care Management. "We want to help move people more quickly along the continuum of care and make a safe transition from hospital to home."
The 70,000-square-foot building features two large gyms that will house therapy services 365 days a year, multiple food venues, including restaurant dining or grab-and-go bistro items like salads, yogurt and sushi, as well as other hotel-like amenities officials said their clientele has come to expect.
Rooms include a private bathroom and shower, refrigerator and private safe.
Officials are working on a deal to bring Pure Salon of Arlington Heights to the facility to do hair and nail services for guests. They also hope to team with Northwest Suburban High School District 214 to allow students interested in health care to intern at the new facility.
"We're really trying to incorporate into the community here," Mulherin said.
The building was built to enhance guests rehab with an outdoor courtyard made up of differently textured gravel and different height steps to help simulate what life will be like at home.
"We really wanted to incorporate the entire building in the therapy process," Mulherin said.
Medical carts that typically frequent the hallways of hospitals, rehab centers and nursing homes are missing from Transitional Care. The building is fully "cartless," with all replacement supplies stored in cabinets in each room and on the walls in the hallways.
When Transitional Care is full staffed it will employ 175 people, including 50 therapists to help patients rehab, Ross said.
Guests will leave Transitional Care with a gift -- their own personalized pie, baked from scratch in the center's kitchen.
The philosophy of Transitional Care of Arlington Heights is passion, innovation and expertise, so officials wanted to send that home with each patient to remember their stay.
"We are always happy to welcome new businesses to Arlington Heights, and we are especially excited to welcome Transitional Care to our community," said Village President Tom Hayes. "We look forward to the Transitional Care post-acute care team joining our many community partners in providing high quality services to our residents and neighboring communities."