AdventHealth leaders said that the new Waterman Rehabilitation Center in Tavares, Florida, United States, will provide care to patients in the community after major health events such as a stroke, brain, and spinal cord injuries, cardiac conditions, amputations, neurological disorders, and respiratory difficulties. [Photo: AdventHealth News]

Members of the surrounding community recently joined AdventHealth Waterman in Tavares, Florida, United States, to celebrate the opening of a new 12-bed Inpatient Rehabilitation Center. The center was the final phase of an 111,000-square-foot (10,300-square-meter), US$85 million expansion.

“We are excited to open this inpatient rehab facility. This is a whole new kind of service and is the only one in Lake County,” said J. Coomes, AdventHealth Waterman executive director of rehab services.

Previously, patients and families had to travel to other counties to obtain these services. Now, patients from Lake County can stay close to home and recover within the community.

“The patients who come to inpatient rehab have had a major event,” Coomes said. “They’ve had a stroke or some other event that’s really changed their life and changed their family’s life. Keeping them close to home, where the family can continue to be there for them, is essential to helping them recover.”

The Inpatient Rehab Center at AdventHealth Waterman specializes in stroke and brain and spinal cord injuries, as well as patients with cardiac conditions, amputations, neurological disorders, and respiratory difficulties. These patients need at least three hours of therapy per day and require multidisciplinary expertise to recover.

All of the rooms in the Inpatient Rehab Center at AdventHealth Waterman are private. In addition, the new unit includes a bariatric room with a larger entryway and bathroom to more comfortably care for patients over 750 pounds (340 kilograms).

The Inpatient Rehab Center also provides residential-style spaces, allowing patients to relearn and practice real-life scenarios, such as cooking or doing laundry at home, while they are still in the hospital.

“A big part of inpatient rehab is helping patients practice the things that they did at home,” Coomes said. “In our kitchen, they can practice making meals. In our suite, which is like an apartment, we have a washer and dryer and a bed that we can use to practice making the bed, doing laundry, and more, to help that patient be ready to return home.”

This unit also offers patients the latest technology in rehabilitation.

In the gym, a hydraulic car adjusts to the exact height of the patient’s car so patients can practice the movement necessary to safely get in and out of their vehicle.

For patients with limited arm and hand mobility, AdventHealth Waterman offers the ArmeoSpring system, the latest technology that provides arm and hand training for moderately to severely impaired patients.

The 100-foot-long (30-meter-long) Vector Gait Bioness track system helps nursing and therapy staff safely assist patients out of bed. The track system also allows patients to begin walking without the fear or risk of falling.

“One of the exciting things for our staff is to be with patients as they go through their journey,” Coomes said. “Patients in this new unit will likely stay for a couple of weeks. Our staff enjoys being able to see them progress over those weeks, from needing a lot of help to being able to get back home.”

The Waterman facilities expansion project is the second-largest investment in a health-care facility in Lake County’s history — since AdventHealth Waterman’s Tavares campus was completed more than 15 years ago.

With the opening of this new unit, AdventHealth Waterman has grown to a 299-bed facility.

The mission of AdventHealth is extending the healing ministry of Christ. According to its website, it is a mission that “calls us to be His hands and feet in helping people feel whole. Our story is one of hope — one that strives to heal and restore the body, mind, and spirit.”

The original version of this story was posted on the AdventHealth news site.

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