Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of North Tampa — a 50-bed hospital specializing in helping people recover from illnesses and accidents — opened earlier this month at 3840 Atmore Grove Road in Lutz.
“We are an inpatient rehab hospital,” said Chris Ballish, area business development director for the hospital, which is located in the general vicinity of Idlewild Baptist Church.
The facility provides a hospital level of care for acute rehabilitation, Ballish said, noting patients must meet specific criteria to be admitted.
For instance, they must require medical supervision by a physician and must be able to manage the recommended therapy.
They also must require around-the-clock nursing availability, Ballish said.
In general, the facility serves stroke patients, orthopedic patients, spinal cord patients, amputees, and patients with neurological disorders, he said.
Encompass Health is a national company, with 139 locations.
It has facilities in Spring Hill, Ocala and Altamonte Springs— but this is the company’s first new facility during the past five years in Florida, Ballish said.
When the facility is operating at its full capacity, it is expected to have more than 200 employees, he added.
Ballish said the company chose the Lutz location because of a need for its services, particularly in the rapidly growing area.
There’s a need for this level of care, he explained. “It’s about serving patients that need our services.
“Our mission is to get patients as independent as possible, and get them back into the community,” Ballish said. The average length of stay for this type of care is 10 days to 14 days, he said.
Patients are engaged in high-level therapy, undergoing therapy sessions, and receiving care from nurses and physicians.
“Our doctors that are attending are rehab doctors, rehab specialists.
“And then we have all of the consultants available. We have cardiology, pulmonology, neurology. All of the specialties are available,” Ballish added.
The 52,000-square-foot facility also has the highest level of technology available to support the efforts of therapists, as they work with patients, he said.
“It’s astounding the type of technology that’s available,” Ballish said.
Therapy services outlined in a hospital brochure include:
- Occupational therapy, which includes self-care skills for activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, eating and preparing foods. Therapists address cognitive (thought) and perceptual (visual) deficits.
- Physical therapy: Focuses on such things as helping patients to walk; teaching wheelchair transfer techniques; and providing orthotic/prosthetic device evaluation and training
- Respiratory therapy: Helping patients with respiratory muscle weaknesses or a susceptibility to respiratory difficulties
- Speech/language pathology: Improves communications skills through basic cognitive retraining, increasing functional independence with decision-making, reasoning, memory and swallowing retraining.
The hospital also has a gym, with all sorts of equipment, to help patients in their rehabilitation. And, it has a room set up to mimic a patient’s home — providing them a chance to practice returning to the tasks of daily life, such as getting out of bed, using appliances, bathing and so on.
The North Tampa hospital serves a large market generally stretching from Wesley Chapel down to Riverview, over to Brandon and out to North Tampa, Ballish said.
As the facility ramps up to full capacity, the hospital intends to get involved with area chambers of commerce and to create partnerships with programs that prepare health care workers, Ballish said.
It also intends to offer a variety of support groups, such as stroke support groups, brain injury support groups and amputee support groups, he said.
Since opening, the hospital has enjoyed a warm reception, Ballish said.
“We’re very pleased and overwhelmed by the response of the community, so far,” he said.
Published April 21, 2021