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Published by arkansasonline.com on February 14
Written by Thomas Saccente

FORT SMITH — Construction of a rehabilitation clinic — which will be next door to the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine — is under way in Fort Smith.

Mercy Fort Smith is partnering with Kindred Healthcare of Louisville, Ky., to build the 52,967-square-foot Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital Fort Smith at 6700 Chad Colley Blvd. The Arkansas Colleges of Health Education donated the land for the hospital.

The hospital will serve as a teaching site for students in the the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education’s School of Occupational Therapy and School of Physical Therapy, said Juli Stec, Mercy Fort Smith vice president of operations, said.

The project represents Kindred and Mercy’s fourth joint venture.

“Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital Fort Smith is designed to help patients recover from their illnesses or injuries and restore function, so they can get back to their lives,” Russ Bailey, chief operating officer of Kindred Rehabilitation Hospitals, said. “Kindred and Mercy have a strong track record of success, having partnered on similar rehab hospitals in Oklahoma City, St. Louis and Springfield, Mo.”

The new 40-bed hospital will care for adults recovering from a variety of conditions, according to Mercy Fort Smith. This includes stroke, neurological disease, injury to the brain or spinal cord and other debilitating illnesses or injuries.

The facility will feature all private rooms; a secured brain injury unit with private dining and therapy gym; large interdisciplinary gyms; transitional living apartment designed to simulate a residential apartment; therapeutic courtyard with golf, pickle ball and corn hole; specially designed rooms to treat dialysis patients; and specialty programs dedicated to neuro, stroke, brain injury and amputation.

Mercy operates an inpatient rehabilitation facility in Mercy Hospital Fort Smith at 7301 Rogers Ave.

The new hospital has a “hard construction cost” of about $21 million and officials say it’s scheduled to open in April 2021, with Kindred Healthcare to manage it.