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Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Twelve-bed addition under way at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital

The new addition at HealthSouth is scheduled to be completed by October.

The new roof is in place, and the framing for the walls is going up now. Construction of the addition at area’s only rehabilitation hospital should be completed by October.

“We’re hoping it’s sooner than that,” said Donna Phillips, chief executive officer at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Fredericksburg.

HealthSouth is investing $3.3 million to expand its Fredericksburg hospital. The area’s other hospitals have unused beds, but that’s not the case at HealthSouth.

The hospital has 40 beds and has operated near capacity for more than a year, Phillips said. The average daily patient census for March was 36.

“This year has been very busy,” she said.

Construction will include 11 new private rooms, a new parking area and the conversion of one of its existing rooms. Loughridge & Company, which built the original hospital five years ago, is doing the 5,289-square-foot addition.

The hospital is located on Park Hill Drive, behind Mary Washington Hospital. Work is taking place on the end of the building closest to Mary Washington.

The new rooms also mean that the hospital will hire 20 new workers this summer. The hospital has 140 employees now.

The addition will include 12 new private rooms.

HealthSouth is the nation’s largest chain of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, with hospitals in 27 states and in Puerto Rico. Typically, patients are discharged from an acute-care hospital and go to HealthSouth for additional therapy before going home. About 25 percent of patients have suffered strokes, Phillips said.