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UPMC East to Become Newest Site for UPMC Rehabilitation Institute

PITTSBURGH, May 1, 2014 – Construction is set to begin today on a new, 20-bed UPMC Rehabilitation Institute that is scheduled to open July 1 on the remodeled 6 East wing at UPMC East. It will mark the first Rehabilitation Institute location in Pittsburgh’s east-northeast corridor, complementing the current east-southeast location at UPMC McKeesport.
The facility will mark the ninth UPMC Rehabilitation Institute location as part of the system’s in-hospital network that provides specialized inpatient care for people needing physical, occupational and speech therapy after strokes or brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, various surgeries and other conditions. Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC also opened a Rehabilitation Institute this past winter. UPMC St. Margaret reopened its refurbished rehab unit in November, doubling its capacity to 26 beds.
“We are meeting a community need, in the area where our patients live,” said Mark Sevco, president of UPMC East. “It’s very exciting for us to open this in the eastern suburbs under the inpatient care of the Rehabilitation Institute. Utilizing existing space in a hospital that is very much in growth mode, just short of celebrating its second birthday, is a positive step for us. We continue to move forward with new clinical care.”
UPMC East recently was accredited by the independent Joint Commission as a primary stroke center. Stroke patients are expected to be among those receiving care at its new Rehabilitation Institute. Peter Hurh, M.D., specialist in inpatient rehabilitation and assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, will serve as the medical director of the new UPMC East location. This Rehabilitation Institute will bring at least 15 new hires to the community, among them full-time nurses, therapists, care managers, liaisons and more.
“There clearly is a need for more quality in-hospital rehabilitation units,” said Dr. Hurh. “We hope to address that need by opening this new unit at UPMC East, and bringing the Rehabilitation Institute’s experience and expertise to the eastern suburbs and beyond.”
“In the past year, we opened 12 new beds at a remodeled UPMC St. Margaret unit, Children’s came on line, and now we’re launching this new unit at UPMC East,” said Tim Kagle, executive director, UPMC Rehabilitation Network. “UPMC is growing in rehabilitation and showing both clinical quality and community success providing the care that people want and need in the neighborhoods and the areas where they live.”
Construction is considered to be relatively simple, hence it is scheduled to require barely two months. The primary focus of the work will entail the transformation of the waiting room, known as The Wedge, into a therapy gym, where such new equipment as a Lite Gait – a body-weight supporting gait system – will be part of the therapeutic curriculum. A multi-purpose room also will become the Activities for Daily Living unit.

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