$52 million rehab hospital proposed for Libertyville
A hospital dedicated to physical rehabilitation for patients recovering from strokes and other conditions is being proposed in Libertyville.
Encompass Health Corp., a national company based in Birmingham, Alabama, wants to build a $52.2 million facility at American Way Drive and Winchester Road on the village's far northwest side.
The 61,490-square-foot hospital would be built on nearly 9 acres between Route 45 and American Way, north of Winchester Road. Encompass, formerly known as Health South, operates 133 inpatient rehabilitation hospitals across the country, including Van Matre Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital in Rockford.
The Libertyville site would be Encompass' second rehabilitation hospital in Illinois. It is seeking approvals for a 60-bed hospital with the ability to expand to 80 beds for patients recovering from strokes, neurological disorders, brain and spinal cord injuries, amputations or complex orthopedic conditions.
All rooms would be private. Services would include physical, occupational and speech therapies, as well as 24-hour nursing care. It also would feature a large therapy gym, cafeteria, dining room, pharmacy, courtyard and advanced rehab technologies.
"The proposed rehabilitation hospital has a unique focus, and we understand it will attract a broad range of customers from south Cook County to McHenry County," said Heather Rowe, Libertyville's economic development coordinator.
The property is in a general commercial district. Encompass is seeking a special use permit and other approvals to build the hospital at the location.
Libertyville's advisory plan commission is scheduled to review the proposal at 7 p.m. Monday, at the village hall, 118 W. Cook Ave.
According to Encompass, the state health planning region that covers Lake, McHenry and Kane counties has the lowest number of inpatient rehab beds in Illinois.
There have been no inpatient rehab beds in Lake County since Vista Medical Center West in Waukegan closed it 25-bed program in late 2017, according to the company.
Encompass says there is a proven need for at least 66 inpatient rehab beds in the region, Residents needing such services now must travel either to congested urban areas or Wisconsin.
The facility is expected to employ about 90 physicians, nurses, therapists and others the first year of operations and up to 165 by the fifth year.
Encompass started the process in July with an application for a certificate of need from the Illinois Health Facilities & Services Review Board. The proposal drew nearly two dozen letters of support from local, county and state politicians, doctors and others.
Among them was Libertyville Mayor Terry Weppler, who noted in a letter to the state board that Advocate Condell Medical Center has a Level 1 trauma center but the closest inpatient rehab center is more than 40 miles away.
"It would provide a much needed service to our residents and the surrounding communities as such a hospital does not exist in this region," Weppler wrote.