SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Mercy Hospital Springfield on Monday revealed plans for a major investment to help injured people and those who've had surgery get on their feet more quickly. The hospital will build a 63,000-square-foot rehabilitation center next to U.S. 65 at Evans Road.
The need for rehabilitation has outgrown the 35 beds available in the space being used now.
"We basically have a wait list for taking patients into our facility. Last year, we had approximately 1,000 requests for the facility, and we were really only able to accommodate about 430 to 450 in that range," said Jay Guffey, the chief operating officer for Mercy Hospital in Springfield.
The $28 million facility will have 60 beds with one per room. Right now there are two beds per room.
A gym to rehabilitate patients recovering from strokes, brain or spinal cord injuries and other conditions will have state-of-the-art medical equipment to include a harness for the parallel bars.
"And really help them learn how to walk in a much more save environment, which should also speed up recovery because now we're basically doing it by manually holding those patients," said Kevin Rash, vice president of operations for Mercy Hospital Springfield.
There will also be an outdoor walking trail with a variety of surfaces to help patients deal with what they can expect once they're out of the hospital.
The facility will be constructed for room to grow to meet future needs.
Aside from medical care, the project provides an economic boost to the community. In the next three to five years, hospital officials said about 75 jobs will be added.
"And that will be professionals like nurses and physical therapists, occupational therapists, as well as dietary, environmental services, maintenance workers to operate the entire facility," said Guffey.
The ground breaking will be in March 2013. The facility is scheduled to open in 2014.