VCU Health, Sheltering Arms announce new rehabilitation hospital

Only five of the 14 trama centers in Virginia are Level I. Photo by Kelly MicKey
Photo by Kelly MicKey

VCU Health System and Sheltering Arms Hospital announced the construction of Sheltering Arms Rehab Institute — a joint venture which will combine practices at a new rehabilitation facility located in West Creek Medical Park in Goochland County.

The center is expected to be open to the public in 2020. The inpatient rehabilitation center will contain 114 beds — compared to Sheltering Arms’ current 68 beds — and will be a mix of both VCU Health System and Sheltering Arms’ current rehabilitation programs to better treat their patients.

“It is a state of the art hospital, state of the art facility, and has private rooms; it will benefit the community more than just Sheltering Arms,” said interim CEO of Sheltering Arms, Mary Zweifel.

Zweifel said the facility will service a wide range of patients in not only the Richmond community, but also persons with disabilities in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond.

“People with general rehab needs, strokes, brain damage, spinal cord injuries,” Zweifel said. “It will help folks regain strength and endurance to return back to the community.”

The rehabilitation center will also be a teaching hospital where VCU medical students have the opportunity for real patient-care experience.

Marsha Rappley, CEO of VCU Health System and vice president  of VCU Health Sciences said the joint venture establishes a state-of

the science teaching hospital to advance clinical education across all the rehabilitation disciplines.

After signing an agreement on the joint venture in May, the two facilities filed a letter of intent to the Virginia Department of Health to acquire a Certificate of Public Need (COPN) in September and anticipate a decision by summer 2017.

The collaborative team is currently calculating the cost of the new rehabilitation institute as they await the Virginia Department of Health’s decision.

Hannah Parker, Contributing Writer

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