HealthSouth joins medical cluster

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A new addition to South Park’s burgeoning health-care cluster is nearing completion and should be operating by May.

David Shefte, CEO of HealthSouth’s newest physical rehabilitation hospital, says the $25 million, 49,000-square-foot facility will add up to 100 jobs to the community. The newly constructed building sits on nearly 12 acres at 1001 W. Mineral Ave.

It joins a bevy of health-related companies springing up around Littleton Adventist Hospital. Eric Ervin, the city’s marketing analyst, says such concentrations are good for economic development because they attract other related businesses and suppliers. A medical cluster, in particular, could lure higher-paid professionals who might help fill the high-end apartment complex recently approved for the intersection of County Line Road and Erickson Boulevard.

Shefte said HealthSouth fills a gap in the cluster. It provides rehabilitation therapies for people recovering from things like stroke, fractures, cardiac disorders and spinal-cord injuries. It also tends to permanent conditions such as brain injury, Parkinson’s disease or general debilitation.

“A patient may be ready to leave the hospital but not ready to go home, and that’s where our niche is,” said Shefte.

HealthSouth has private rooms for 40 patients, and will also provide out-patient services. The average stay for an in-patient is around 12 days, compared to 30 for longer-term care at nursing homes or hospitals like Craig in Englewood. Patients get at least three hours of therapy a day, including physical, occupational and speech therapies.

“Our mission is to get people back home,” said Lisa Hinton, marketing director.

Shefte said the facility fills a need that he discovered when his own father-in-law, who lives nearby, had to go to Aurora to get similar care.

“We’re bringing such a service to the community,” he said. “There was such a gap.”

HealthSouth operates in 27 states across the country and in Puerto Rico through a network of in-patient hospitals like this one, outpatient rehabilitation, satellite clinics and home-health agencies.