Avera McKennan opens inpatient rehab unit

Feb. 1, 2018

The newly finished top floor of Avera McKennan’s Prairie Center is opening for rehabilitation patients.

The fifth floor build-out is part of $174 million in projects being done between the new Avera on Louise campus at 69th Street and Louise Avenue and the main hospital campus.

The new unit has 24 private rooms around the perimeter, with private bathrooms, heated floors and an enlarged space for additional technology. Patients move to the rehab unit following an acute hospital stay.

The unit will care for patients ranging in age from adolescents to seniors with a range of conditions and diagnoses, including stroke, head and spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, amputation and Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Patients can practice maneuvering in a car in the Avera therapy area.

“Patients in rehab often have to relearn everything, from getting dressed to getting in and out of a car. They have had their whole lives turned around. This will be a healing, caring environment where this relearning can take place with the help of experienced rehabilitation physicians, and speech, occupational and physical therapists,” said Dave Flicek, president and CEO of Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center.

Patients stay in this unit longer than anywhere else in the organization – on average 12 to 14 days.

A simulated grocery store helps patient practice movements needed for daily living.

Special features of the unit include:

  • A 5,200-square-foot therapy gym.
  • Nursing stations at each corner of the four corners of the unit for close proximity to patients.
  • Elements throughout the unit that help patients relearn life activities — for example, a restaurant booth, curb ramp and tub rooms where patients can practice getting in and out of a tub.
  • Amenities for patients and families, including a buffet-style cafe with height-adjustable tables, a public space wired for computers and other electronic devices, and a rooftop outdoor garden.
  • Two bariatric rooms that are extra large with a ceiling lift in one. This lift also may be used for patients with spinal cord injuries.
  • A conference room, family sitting area, offices for staff and satellite offices for physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians.
  • Specialized technology including:
    • Solo-Step, an overhead track and harness system designed to protect patients from falling during the rehabilitation process.
    • Functional Electrical Stimulation lower extremity and upper extremity bikes.
    • Neurosensory integrator.
    • Bionic leg.

“Our patients need an environment that helps them recover well and where they can also feel at home,”  said Dr. Thomas Ripperda, Avera Medical Group physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist. “The Prairie Center is known for its patient-centered environment for world-class cancer care and outpatient surgery. Now, rehab is extremely proud to be here as well. Avera now has rehab facilities that are on a par with nationally known centers.”

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Avera McKennan opens inpatient rehab unit

The newly finished top floor of Avera McKennan’s Prairie Center is opening for rehabilitation patients. Take a look inside.

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