Originally Released: April 2, 1996
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The new $30 million William Donald Schaefer Rehabilitation Center at Kernan Hospital has opened. About 100 patients will be moved there, most from Montebello Rehabilitation Hospital. The new, 128-bed rehabilitation center, one of the largest and most sophisticated facilities of its kind in the United States, will serve patients with disabilities due to a variety of neurological disorders, including stroke, multiple sclerosis, brain and spinal cord injuries, as well as orthopaedic conditions.
The Schaefer Rehabilitation Center, named after former Maryland Governor William Donald Schaefer, is located on the grounds of Kernan Hospital in the Woodlawn section of Baltimore. The facility replaces the aging, 40-year-old Montebello Rehabilitation Hospital. Both Montebello and Kernan Hospital are owned and operated by the University of Maryland Medical System.
"This new center offers Maryland residents the most modern rehabilitation care available in the region," says Morton I. Rapoport, M.D., president and chief executive officer of the University of Maryland Medical System. "It is an important link in our comprehensive health care delivery system. For example, it enables us to provide state-of-the-art care for severely injured patients brought to our Shock Trauma Center who need rehabilitation services," says Dr. Rapoport.
"The design of the building is patient-focused. Everything revolves around the patients, with the services patients need adjacent to their rooms," says James E. Ross, FACHE, executive director of Kernan.
The 155,000-square-foot facility has four inpatient units, each with 32 beds. Each of those patient units is dedicated to a specific type of injury. There is a stroke unit, a traumatic brain injury unit, an orthopaedic unit, and a unit specifically for patients with spinal cord and other neurological disorders, including multiple sclerosis (MS). It is the only dedicated inpatient MS program on the East Coast.
The bright, airy patient rooms are equipped with wheelchair-accessible showers and large windows that allow patients a view of the grounds and wooded areas of the 88-acre hospital campus located near the western border of Baltimore City at Baltimore County. The new center also has an indoor hydrotherapy pool with lifts to assist patients in and out of the water.
Kernan Hospital's existing 39 licensed rehabilitation beds have been incorporated into the new building. Kernan's 24 medical and surgical beds will remain in operation and will be available to the rehabilitation patients, as needed.
On moving day, 56 patients from Montebello Hospital were transferred across town to the new Schaefer Rehabilitation Center. In addition, another 44 patients from Kernan also moved into the new building. Patients were transferred in special wheelchair-accessible vans as well as in ambulances.
"The primary advantage for rehabilitation patients is the expanded range of care that will result from the consolidation," says Don Joyce, vice president of postacute services and the University Rehabilitation Network. "Often rehabilitation patients need additional tests or surgery. Having both surgical and rehabilitation facilities in the same location will make it much easier, more convenient, and more cost efficient for our patients," explains Joyce.
The purpose of medical rehabilitation is to help people return to the highest possible quality of life and greatest degree of independence following a traumatic injury or disabling illness.
The new, two-story facility adjoins the existing Kernan Hospital and blends in with the exterior architectural features and landscaping of Kernan. The building, which took a year and a half to construct, was designed by RTKL Associates of Baltimore with construction management by Whiting-Turner-Temple. This $30 million project was funded by a $15 million grant from the State of Maryland and the sale of $15 million in bonds.
The William Donald Schaefer Rehabilitation Center at Kernan Hospital is a member of the University Rehabilitation Network. The network links seven rehabilitation programs to offer comprehensive care to patients at every stage in their recovery. The components of the Network are:
For patient inquiries, call 1-800-492-5538 or click here to make an appointment.