Joint Venture, Inpatient Rehab Hospital Is First Aggie Square Project
By Charles Casey
(From press release)
The University of California, Davis, today announced that along with Kindred Healthcare, it will construct and operate a second hospital on its downtown Sacramento campus to provide more inpatient rehabilitation services in Sacramento County. The facility will provide care for twice as many physical rehab patients as currently can be treated at UC Davis Medical Center. The $60 million hospital will create 200 new jobs, offer convenient care for local patients and families, and be located at Aggie Square, the university’s newly announced technology and innovation hub just south of the Medical Center.
“Aggie Square brings the university, industry and the community together to build for the future,” said UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May. “This new UC Davis hospital reflects that type of vital public-private partnership. It will include innovative technologies to help patients get back to their lives faster and healthier, provide opportunities for collaboration with biomedical research, and it will create new economic opportunities for the surrounding community.”
Kindred, a nationally known health care services company based in Louisville, Kentucky, will manage the day-to-day operations of the hospital, where physicians and clinical care teams will provide patients with leading-edge care. Physicians working at the new hospital will have privileges at UC Davis Health and utilize the facility to provide care for patients who have had surgery, but aren’t ready to return home yet.
Not only will this hospital more than double the capacity to meet the neurological treatment needs of the community, but it will provide an estimated $60 million in capital infusion for the local area and generate 200 new jobs in Sacramento.
To be known as the “UC Davis Rehabilitation Hospital,” the facility, with all private rooms, will offer rehabilitation treatments for patients recovering from conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury.
“We view our partnership to build and operate a new facility with UC Davis Health as an important way to address the growing need for inpatient rehabilitation services in the Sacramento area,” said Jason Zachariah, president of Kindred Rehabilitation Services, a division of Kindred that oversees 22 inpatient rehabilitation hospitals around the nation. “This is a quality-focused collaboration with a nationally recognized academic health care leader. By working together, we know we can deliver the kind of excellent care that improves patients’ lives and helps their families.”
The new hospital will be built on the site of a currently unused UC Davis building at 4875 Broadway that will be torn down. University and Kindred officials are now planning the construction project and hope to be providing patient care services by the latter part of 2020. It is being designed to continue and elevate state-of-the-art care, encourage research and discovery of new therapies, and develop best practices for the clinical approaches that post-acute care patients require.
“This is an important day for Sacramento, for UC Davis Health and for the neighborhoods surrounding UC Davis Medical Center,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “Just a few short months ago, I joined Chancellor May, several of my elected colleagues and a number of community advocates for the Aggie Square announcement. Today, we’re seeing the first tangible step toward that vision. This rehabilitation hospital, and the investment from a national health care leader like Kindred, illustrates our goal of leveraging the many strengths of Sacramento as a catalyst for economic change, research innovation, and improving health for all.”
The mayor’s enthusiasm for the new facilities was echoed by Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), whose district includes the new hospital site.
“This proves yet again that Sacramento is full of innovation and collaborative energy. With the leadership of UC Davis and other strategic partners, Sacramento is committed to making intentional investments in our health care system that help meet the needs of our community. Establishing a new free-standing physical rehabilitation hospital in Sacramento County is something to be proud of,” Matsui said. “UC Davis has been a leader in the types of projects that can attract investment and partners from around the country. This hospital marks one of the first steps toward the development of Aggie Square, reflecting UC Davis’ progress towards providing expanded access to vital patient care while also contributing to a thriving community.”
Meeting community needs
Kindred and UC Davis Health officials said the new care facility will focus on adult patients. Inpatient rehabilitation will include physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech pathology services, which involve therapists, physicians and nurses helping patients with the restoration of their physical function and mobility as well as gain independence in everyday activities such self-care, home-making and work.
State Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), who is a former UC Davis Health pediatrician, also expressed enthusiasm for the project.
“As a physician, I have advocated for access to quality of care, including rehabilitation care and I am pleased that Chancellor May and UC Davis Health are working to bring more rehabilitation services to the Sacramento community. Combined with the promise of Aggie Square, clinical care and innovation opportunities will provide new, high quality jobs that truly benefit our community and region.”
All jobs related to the current rehabilitation facilities at UC Davis Medical Center will be maintained, with no positions eliminated by the move to the new hospital. The current rehabilitation team — nurses, physicians, physical therapists and others — will be trained and reassigned to other positions within the hospital. Physicians can obtain privileges at the new hospital, and those employees who want to continue providing rehabilitation treatment and care in an inpatient setting may choose to work directly for the new hospital.
UC Davis Medical Center is closing its current rehabilitation facilities, which are scattered across six areas in two buildings, to comply with the state’s 2020 seismic safety requirements. Being able to meet the earthquake safety mandate by building an entirely new facility was good news for another elected leader whose district also includes the university’s Sacramento campus and surrounding neighborhoods.
“The UC Davis Rehabilitation Hospital is another win for the Stockton Boulevard corridor and the City of Sacramento,” said Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento). “This visionary partnership that UC Davis Health established with Kindred Healthcare enables the health system to rapidly meet the patient care needs of our community as well as efficiently comply with our state’s critical seismic safety requirements for hospitals like UC Davis Medical Center.”
Charles Casey is a public information officer for UC Davis.