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Patients moving from CMC-Mercy to new Pineville hospital

By Elisabeth Arriero
erriero@charlotteobserver.com

About 35 patients from Carolinas Specialty Hospital in Charlotte will be moved Wednesday to the newly opened rehabilitation and long-term acute care hospital in Pineville.

The new four-story building is a joint project of Carolinas HealthCare System and Carolinas Specialty Hospital, which provides care for patients who still need intensive care after being discharged from a hospital intensive care unit.

Carolinas Specialty Hospital has been leasing space for its long-term acute care patients at Carolinas Medical Center-Mercy in Elizabeth.

The new $40 million hospital, to be called Carolinas HealthCare Rehabilitation and Carolinas Specialty Hospital, has 86,500 square feet and is located at 10648 Park Road, behind CMC-Pineville.

Long-term acute-care patients will be transferred to the new hospital Wednesday. Patients needing rehabilitation will be admitted starting Oct. 1, said Marcey Stone, a spokeswoman for Carolinas HealthCare System.

Carolinas Specialty Hospital has 120 staff members who cared for more than 400 patients at the CMC-Mercy location in 2012. It expects to grow to 150 staff members and serve more than 400 patients in the next 12 months, Stone said. The hospital is licensed for 40 beds, but limited space meant it could accommodate only 35 patients.

“Having bigger rooms, access to a number of doctors and a number of services is exciting for us in terms of patient care,” said Daniel Dunmyer, chief executive officer for Carolinas Specialty Hospital. “It’s a plus on every level.”

Dunmyer said the average stay for a long-term acute-care patient is 25 to 30 days, compared with 4-5 days for a typical hospital patient.

The new building will house Carolinas Specialty Hospital on the third and fourth floors and will have 40 beds with a nurse monitoring station for every two rooms. It will also have expanded kidney dialysis services.

Care for rehabilitating patients

Carolinas HealthCare Rehabilitation in Pineville will have 29 private inpatient rooms on the second floor. The two hospital groups will share the first floor for admissions, radiology, education, dining and family services.

Patients, such as stroke victims, who need rehabilitation won’t have to transfer to the uptown Charlotte hospital after being discharged from intensive care at CMC-Pineville.

“It’s really time for them to gain independence and have their families here to support them while not having to go to center city Charlotte,” said Calvin Hung, administrator of CMC-Pineville Inpatient Rehab. “This also kind of allows families to come be a part of therapy and rehabilitation process.”

The new hospital will have a rehabilitation gym, a transitional apartment and rooftop therapy garden, with different surfaces such as boardwalks, concrete steps and putting greens, to help patients acclimate to the real world. The building also features large windows throughout, helping to prevent disorientation during long-term stays.

“When you’re in an ICU setting, you start to lose your sense of night and day,” said Stone. “These spacious rooms with all of the natural light will help patient recovery.” Staff writer Karen Garloch contributed.

Arriero: 704-358-5945; Twitter: @earriero
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