About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star
Healthsouth marks three years
Donna Phillips has been in the area for more than three years, yet she still meets people who are puzzled when she tells them she’s the CEO at Healthsouth. “What’s that?” they ask.
Healthsouth is the hospital on the hill, Phillips tells them, the 40-bed rehabilitation hospital behind Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg.
More than 2,000 patients, almost all of them local residents, have received therapy there since its opening. This summer it celebrates its third birthday.
“It’s been a very successful opening,” she said.
Phillips talked about the hospital yesterday over lunch. Some of her observations:
* The hospital has been averaging 34 patients a day, though yesterday it was at capacity with 40 patients. Patients stay an average of 14 days. About 120 people work there, including 103 full-time employees.
* Stroke continues to be the number-one reason that people come there for therapy. But the hospital also is treating more patients with multiple fractures now that Mary Washington is a trauma center, Phillips said.
* Patients are sicker than expected when they arrive from an acute-care hospital. This is something that all rehab hospitals have noticed, Phillips said. As a result Healthsouth has had to hire a respiratory therapist and provide additional training for its staff in the care of patients with heart and lung problems.
* The hospital has become a popular site for students doing their clinical rotations. These include students studying physical, occupational and speech therapy, and nursing.
*The hospital has no immediate plans for expansion though it does have available land. Phillips said the census would probably have to average 38 patients or more each day before an expansion would be considered.
* The hospital is one of 95 rehab hospitals in the Healthsouth chain. This week the company opened its newest rehab hospital in Virginia, in Aldie in Loudoun County. Phillips and her staff, no longer the newest among the company’s Virginia hospitals, have been helping the Aldie workers get ready.