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Biggest medical news of the month: Post Falls to open 30-bed rehab center in 2013

Kootenai Health, the company that runs Kootenai Medical Center, has joined deal with a New Mexico company to build a 30-bed rehabilitation hospital in Post Falls.

Called the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Northwest, the $11 million center is expected to open in fall 2013 and employ roughly 120 people.

Operating the center will be Ernest Health Inc., an Albuquerque company that operates 18 rehab centers and hospitals throughout the United States. It also operates the Northern Idaho Advanced Care Hospital, an acute-care facility in Post Falls.

The new rehab center will be on the same campus as the advanced care hospital, in a free-standing building, said Linda Murphy, a spokeswoman for the new facility.

Kootenai Medical Center has 14 beds for rehab care, but is often unable to take patients due to care limitations.

The new facility will provide care for patients needing a range of services, including rehab for those with head or spinal injuries, said Jeremy Evans, vice president of professional services for Kootenai Medical Center, which is operated by Kootenai Health.

Doctors and practitioners, including rehab-care workers now at Kootenai Medical Center, will be encouraged to work at the new facility, said Evans.

Kootenai Health is not investing money in the project, Evans added. “We see this as a great opportunity to partner with a national company with expertise and to help us broaden the scope of services available to the community,” he said.


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