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Halfway There

Expansion signals growth – and a growing commitment to patients


The 74,000-square-foot expansion of Rockcastle Regional Hospital and Respiratory Care Center is on target to be completed in April 2017.

The new construction will add 28 ventilator beds, bringing the total to 121 and placing the center at the top of the nation’s respiratory facilities for capacity and quality care.

Rockcastle Regional’s Respiratory Care Center provides state-of-the-art care for patients who, because of illness or injury, are dependent on mechanical ventilators to breathe. It opened in 1983 and has experienced several major expansions.

The national award-winning facility, which accepts patients from throughout Kentucky and many other states, has earned a reputation for excellence.

Among the features of the addition:

• Spacious patient rooms and 10-foot wide corridors to make for easy navigating throughout the patient care area

• A dedicated resident dining facility

• New, spacious day rooms for activities

• A large chapel dedicated to residents, families and staff

• A 2,200-square-foot resident rehabilitation center, four times the size of the current facility. Resident rehabilitation is a critical clinical component to speed the weaning process, but it also boosts quality of life

“This project isn’t just about adding beds,” said Stephen A. Estes, president and CEO. “It’s about us becoming even more patient-centered. From the extra wide corridors to our greatly enhanced rehabilitation room, features of the expansion illustrate our commitment to the patient and the quality of care and life we can provide our patients.”

Four of the expansion’s beds will be designed to accommodate bariatric residents. In the past, Rockcastle Regional has been unable to accept residents above a certain weight. That will change with the addition, and will put the organization in a position to serve a need that is increasingly common.

The addition will also include a kidney dialysis clinic, a first for Rockcastle County. Dialysis is a treatment for kidney failure in which a machine is used to filter harmful wastes, salt and excess fluid from the blood, restoring blood to a normal, healthy balance.

The new dialysis clinic, which will provide inpatient and outpatient care, will be used both for ventilator patients and members of the community who are in need of the service. One of the challenges that will come with the addition will be recruitment of new employees. The expansion will create 85 full-time jobs, bringing the total number of Rockcastle Regional employees to 730. Sixty-two of the new jobs will be professional, licensed positions such as nurses and therapists.

“Our team will grow significantly,” Estes said. “We are looking for high performers to join that team.”

Respiratory Care Center

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