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UnityPoint-St. Luke's to open skilled nursing, rehabilitation facility

(Courtesy UnityPoint Health-Cedar Rapids)

UnityPoint Health-Cedar Rapids will break ground this spring on the new $14.9 million facility, to be called St. Luke’s Center for Healthy Living.
(Courtesy UnityPoint Health-Cedar Rapids) UnityPoint Health-Cedar Rapids will break ground this spring on the new $14.9 million facility, to be called St. Luke’s Center for Healthy Living.
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CEDAR RAPIDS — UnityPoint Health-Cedar Rapids on Monday announced plans to build a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility in Cedar Rapids.

The health care provider hopes to break ground this spring on the new $14.9 million facility, called St. Luke’s Center for Healthy Living, near Council Street and Tower Terrace in the city’s northeast quadrant, officials said in a news release.

The 46,420-square-foot facility would provide 46 patient rooms for skilled nursing and rehabilitation.

“We see this as a unique model, something our community doesn’t have that we think we can offer and fill a niche that will be hopefully both clinically appropriate and attractive to the patients,” Ted Townsend, president and CEO of UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s, said in an interview on Monday.

Townsend said the new facility is meant to make available services for patients who do not qualify to be in an acute-care hospital, but are not yet recovered enough to go home.

“I think there’s going to be a wide spectrum of people who use the facility,” Townsend said. “Some of them could be post-surgery, but some of them could be other kinds of medical needs. It will not just be a surgical facility.”

Patients of the UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Center for Healthy Living will have access to the facility’s outpatient therapy gym “with the latest medical and rehabilitative technology,” according to the news release.

Sarah Corizzo, UnityPoint-St. Luke’s spokeswoman, said the 46 patient rooms will be private and large enough to allow family or visitors to stay overnight,

“The goal is to create a welcoming family-friendly environment to support individuals while they are at the facility,” Corizzo said.

Ground breaking on the construction is set for spring 2018, with the opening to take place spring 2019.

As health care has evolved over the past several decades, Townsend said, more procedures are done within outpatient clinics. In addition, length of stays in the hospital have decreased significantly.

“Those people that are on the edge of that evolution are the ones that we think could fit in the skilled nursing niche,” Townsend said, “the ones that probably don’t qualify to be in a hospital longer, but aren’t quite ready to be sent home, but are not in need of long-term care.”

St. Luke’s currently has two similar facilities within the MedQuarter district in downtown Cedar Rapids — Living Center East and Living Center West — that offer skilled nursing and rehabilitation services for both short- and long-term care. According to St. Luke’s website, the average length of stay is 22 days for those recovering from surgery or illness.

Townsend said the north side was chosen for the new facility to tailor to patients who prefer a suburban setting, as opposed to the hospital’s facilities located near downtown.

“We have other clinics that aren’t going to be too far from that in the Hiawatha area and Marion,” Townsend said. “We have other building plans up there in the future to continue to meet the needs of the growing community. This will be a significant investment for us on the north side of our metro area.”

l Comments: (319) 368-8536; michaela.ramm@thegazette.com

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