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Vanderbilt Stallworth celebrates 25 years of service

Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

It opened in 1993 and became a tremendous resource for the region by providing comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation services, including helping people recover from knee and hip replacements. These services were designed to restore patients so that they can lead independent lives.

Over the years, the scope of the hospital’s services evolved as technology advanced. The hospital now treats more than 1,500 patients per year as they recover from conditions such as stroke and other neurological disorders, brain and spinal cord injury, amputations, complex orthopaedic conditions, transplants or cardiac and pulmonary conditions.

“This hospital started with a joint venture collaboration between Encompass Health and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The needs of our patients have changed in the last 25 years and Stallworth continues to adapt to meet the growing needs of our community,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD, Deputy CEO and Chief Health System Officer for VUMC.

The 80-bed hospital holds certifications from the Joint Commission in stroke, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury rehabilitation programs. It is the only rehabilitation hospital in Tennessee to receive the spinal cord injury certification.

Vanderbilt Stallworth staff include physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, registered nurses and licensed practice nurses as well as physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians and residents. The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is chaired by David Kennedy, MD.

“My congratulations and appreciation are extended to those visionary enough to establish this hospital and to serve our community. Its legacy is extraordinary. The future for continuing service to our patients and innovation for their needs is bright,” said Marilyn Dubree, MSN, RN, Executive Chief Nursing Officer and Chair of the Vanderbilt Stallworth Board, at a March 12 celebration.

Many patients stay about two weeks while others may be there longer. When patients leave, staff members line the hall, said Tim Owens, director of support services, who has worked at the hospital since before it opened. “Those final walks are inspiring. The care is tremendous. I see it from a nonclinical point when people come in on a stretcher. They leave a whole different person,” said Owens.

Marie Coz said after suffering a stroke in 2017 and then recovering, “It was pretty magical to see everyone standing there as I left. I was overwhelmed when I walked out because there were so many people cheering me on. I worked very hard with the help of staff to get back everything I could.”

Jeff Palmucci, CEO of Stallworth said, “It’s rewarding to see the progress of our patients and know we’ve made a difference to improve their lives and help get them back where they want to be — home.”

by Holly Fletcher

This article was originally posted on our joint venture’s blog on March 28, 2019.