Dale Little, right, physical therapy manager for The Memorial Hospital in Craig, and physical therapist Rachael Thomason demonstrate how to use a Thera-Band, a tool therapy patients can use at home, in the hospital’s rehabilitation center inside Centennial Mall. George Rohrich, TMH chief executive officer, opened bids Friday for a renovation project that will enable the hospital to move its physical and occupational therapy services to TMH Medical Clinic.

Photo by Bridget Manley

Dale Little, right, physical therapy manager for The Memorial Hospital in Craig, and physical therapist Rachael Thomason demonstrate how to use a Thera-Band, a tool therapy patients can use at home, in the hospital’s rehabilitation center inside Centennial Mall. George Rohrich, TMH chief executive officer, opened bids Friday for a renovation project that will enable the hospital to move its physical and occupational therapy services to TMH Medical Clinic.

TMH Rehab to relocate this spring

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The Memorial Hospital/Courtesy

The architectural drawing above, created by Robert S. Ralston and Associates of Steamboat Springs, shows how the east end of The Memorial Hospital Medical Clinic will be renovated to make room for rehabilitation services. TMH officials plan to move the hospital’s rehabilitation center, which is currently located inside Centennial Mall, into the clinic this spring.

At a glance …

The Memorial Hospital officials are planning to move the hospital’s rehabilitation services to TMH Medical Clinic.

TMH Rehabilitation Center is currently located in a rented space inside Centennial Mall.

TMH board members have approved spending up to $125,000 to renovate the clinic.

Bids for the project were opened Friday.

The project is to be completed by mid-April.

People who enter Suite 116 in Centennial Mall aren’t looking for a new ottoman, a new outfit, or anything else offered in neighboring stores.

Instead, they’re seeking recovery, whether it’s from a sore back or a recent stroke, said Dale Little, The Memorial Hospital physical therapy manager.

The rented space inside the mall has been home to the hospital’s Rehabilitation Center since 1994, he said.

If all goes according to plan, though, it will have a new home this spring.

TMH officials are looking to move the hospital’s rehabilitation services to The Memorial Hospital Medical Clinic, 785 Russell St.

The move makes sense, chief financial officer Bryan Chalmers said, because it would put rehabilitation clients closer to physicians.

“Proximity to the providers is really important,” he said.

Little believes the same.

“We are part of the hospital, and as a result, it will improve our ability to provide services for the customers we treat with the hospital,” he said.

“The move will add a level of convenience for our patients, especially our orthopedic patients. They can have a follow up with their surgeon and they can go directly to physical therapy.”

The rehabilitation center will be located in the clinic’s east end, near an existing cardio-pulmonary center that opened in the summer of 2011.

The space earmarked for the rehabilitation center is now used mainly for storage and laundry, so the move won’t impact physicians already in the clinic, said Jennifer Riley, TMH chief of organizational excellence.

“It’s actually just taking … storage space and making it usable space,” Chalmers said. “It’s just repurposing the building to meet our needs.”

Once completed, the newly renovated space will contain a gym, office space, a waiting area and more private treatment rooms.

It also will include a fully functional kitchen complete with a stove and other household appliances, which will help therapists “assist our patients with … activities of daily living,” Little said, which is a critical component of occupational therapy.

The hospital’s 2012 budget, which TMH board members approved, earmarks up to $125,000 for the project. By not paying rent, the hospital will be able to recover that cost within five years, Riley said.

The next step is to choose a contractor that will turn the new rehabilitation center into a brick-and-mortar reality.

The hospital put out a request for bids, and “there’s been a lot of interest,” Chalmers said.

Chief Executive Officer George Rohrich was scheduled to open bids Friday. If the hospital can find a bidder that can do the project within the allotted price range, the new rehabilitation center should be finished by mid-April.

Riley believes the new location will be well worth the time and expense.

“It’s going to be bigger,” she said, “and the amenities there are going to be better for the clients.”

In Little’s eyes, that’s a good thing.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for the hospital and our department, and, I think, for the community,” he said.

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Comments

Sam Relaford 2 years, 10 months ago

That is a great move!! I was wondering how long TMH would pay rent on a space while they had all the usable space at the clinic. Good job TMH board!

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lonelyone 2 years, 10 months ago

I too think this is a smart move, but I can't help but wonder why they keep re-doing and moving things back to the old hospital, when it was in such poor condition to begin with and we just had to build a new hospital. Why is the old one good enough now to do all this other stuff with?

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David Moore 2 years, 10 months ago

If I may, I can shed some light on your inquiry lonelyone. First off, in at least four areas that I am aware of, patient privacy was being violated, not on purpose, but by design. Patient privacy, and the patients right to that privacy, were a huge obstacle in the old hospital that could not just be fixed, it had to be replaced and it was a mandate coming up rapidly. In the old hospital, patient rooms, ED trauma rooms and OB rooms were occupied by two patients, this did not give much privacy to the dying patient next to one waiting to have their appendix taken out, writhing and hollering in pain. Nor did the mom who just delivered trying to rest while her neighbor moans in labor pain. In the old Day Surgery center, 5 beds were divided by curtains, the poor elderly lady there for a cataract operation had to listen to the kid cry that just had his tonsils out while the gentleman down the way passed gas after his colonoscopy, something you cant help, but you had no choice....or privacy. Now, TMH has all private patient rooms and 9 Day Surgical rooms where doors can be shut and privacy can be enjoyed. The ED boasts I believe 7 treatment rooms, a chest pain room and two fully functional trauma rooms, all private, and OB has separate birthing rooms around the corner from post partum rooms where quiet time can be enjoyed with your new baby. Space to work was another issue which was a daily challenge for those of us trying to get our patients needs met. The one old operating room was 400 square feet compared to 7 or 800 now, times 3, which makes it a lot easier to stuff 10 or more people into for a Cesarian section and be able to maintain sterility. We have state of the art equipment that can be properly placed for surgery instead of having to re-arrange the room to accommodate radiological and anesthetic equipment and storage space to safely store that equipment without having to crawl over, or through it to get somewhere else. No longer do patients have to be unloaded from an ambulance in below zero weather, they are unloaded into a heated garage. No more hallways, blind corners, narrow doorways not wide enough to safely get a bed through. The improvements are staggering and I still to this day wonder how we ever got the job done in that tiny place. As far as to what they are doing with the old place now, the space needed for the facilities being moved and improved upon require far less space, maneuverability and will assure privacy and ease of use. I see it as a wise move to consolidate all services into one central location. The money dumped into fixing it up will be remade quickly just by not having to pay rent. I don't know the cost of rent at the mall, but from what I have heard it isn't cheap. Why wouldn't they do it?
My offer still stands, to anyone, come take a tour with me, we will go to both places, you will be shocked and amazed at the difference. Hope that helped some:)

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