Plans approved for Libertyville in-patient rehab hospital
A 60-bed rehab hospital in Libertyville is a go with the final approval of the village board and announcement by the company of its intent to proceed.
Alabama-based Encompass Health Corp. said it plans to build the Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Libertyville on nearly 9 acres bordered by Route 45, Winchester Road and American Way on the village's far northwest side.
The $52.2 million proposal is expected to open in spring 2022.
Initially, the project calls for 60 beds in a 61,490-square-foot building, with potential expansion to 80 beds.
According to Encompass, formerly known as HealthSouth Corporation, the hospital would care for patients recovering from debilitating illnesses and injuries, including strokes and other neurological disorders, brain and spinal cord injuries, amputations, and complex orthopedic conditions.
The proposal surfaced last fall and initial public hearings before the advisory plan commission were held in November and December. The village board approved the concept in January and the final plan on May 26.
The vacant property is zoned for commercial use but has remained undeveloped for 30 years. Information provided to the village showed the Encompass project could generate as much as $60,000 in annual property taxes.
The design for the hospital is underway but no firm dates have been established for the construction timeline, according to spokeswoman Hillary Carnel.
The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board approved the application Feb. 25. A public hearing was offered regarding the proposed project but none was requested.
According to state agency records, dozens letters of support were received from doctors and state and local politicians, including Lake County Board Chairwoman Sandy Hart, and mayors Sam Cunningham of Waukegan, Leon Rockingham of North Chicago, Terry Weppler of Libertyville, and Kristina Kovarik of Gurnee.
Weppler said the closest inpatient rehab facility is more than 40 miles from Libertyville, and patients don't want to drive to Chicago or Milwaukee for the service.
Encompass provides facility and home-based care services in 36 states and Puerto Rico through a network of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, home health agencies, and hospice agencies. In Illinois, it operates the 65-bed Van Matre Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital in Rockford.
The Libertyville facility will provide physical, occupational and speech therapies and 24-hour nursing care. It will feature a therapy gym with advanced rehab technologies, cafeteria, dining room, pharmacy and therapy courtyard, according to Encompass.
"Through this hospital, we will be able to provide more patients with customized care that helps them reach their highest levels of independence and gives them the confidence they need to move forward in their lives," Troy DeDecker, president of Encompass' central region said in a statement.