Memorial Health partners with HeathSouth Corp. for new rehabilit - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Memorial Health partners with HeathSouth Corp. for new rehabilitation hospital

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Memorial Health has partnered with HealthSouth Corporation to build a 50-bed freestanding inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Savannah.

The new center, which will be named Rehabilitation Hospital of Savannah, will be jointly owned by both parties and will provide comprehensive, state-of-the art inpatient rehabilitation to patients who have experienced stroke, trauma, brain and spinal cord injury, orthopedic injury, other neurological conditions, amputations or other major illnesses of injuries.

Memorial Health CEO Maggie Gill said this new addition will be a win-win for the community and for those that will work there.

"They will also have access to additional resources for education and for community outreach and for development activities, as well as the hospital will run with its own management team, so they will have more resources dedicated for the purpose of inpatient rehab, which is what the community needs," said Memorial Health CEO Maggie Gill.

Memorial Health officials said it's not going to cost the hospital anything to build the new rehabilitation center. HealthSouth will fund the $20 million project and Memorial Health will help staff it and run it.

Once the facility opens, Memorial will no long have an in-patient facility on campus, which means their patients and employees will have to go to the new hospital.

That news was shocking to some of their current rehab employees.

"I think there was a little bit of a surprise today," said Rehab Manager Greg Dutton. "This was something that might not have been expected."

The big news was buzzing around Memorial today.

"Based on the need out there, we project growth that we will need to be able to accommodate upwards of over 1,200 patients over the next two to three years," said Memorial Health's Senior Vice President Bill Lee.

"The goal of this is many of our employees will go," said Dutton. "They want to tap into our specialities and bring that over."

Hospital officials said they do not anticipate any job losses. In fact, they are looking to hire.

No doubt there will be a need for increased capacity, which will yield a need for increased employees," said Lee.

Officials are still working with HealthSouth to finalize all the details of this project, but many people are looking forward to this new state of the art facility.

"We are limited sometimes on resources, so this is a huge investment and for me personally who has worked at Memorial for a long time," said Dutton. "I'm also still excited that it's still going to be a part of Memorial."

The hospital is expected to open in early 2016.

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