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Peasley: Hearthstone goes off campus

Hearthstone Communities has taken a significant step in expanding services by acquiring management of the rehabilitation unit at Centegra Specialty Hospital on South Street in Woodstock.

The unit has been renamed “Hearthstone at Centegra.” As I talked with Terry Egan, CEO at Hearthstone, and Kate Brennan, Hearthstone’s clinical liaison, their enthusiasm to provide patients in McHenry County with transitional care services is evident.

Transitional care involves a couple of hours of therapy each day, including physical, occupational and speech. The average patient is younger than 70 years of age and can tolerate a faster pace of rehab. The average stay is 14 to 20 days. The majority of patients are post surgical, rehabbing from orthopedic surgery such as joint replacement. Hearthstone intends to include services to patients receiving post acute care for heart surgery and wound care.

Centegra sought Hearthstone’s expertise because of its experience providing long-term and rehab care and its Five Star rating with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Hearthstone added rehabilitation services in 2002. The 30-bed unit will eventually serve those in the baby boomer population. The unit includes 10 private rooms.

Other floors at South Street house the Hospice & Palliative Care of Northeastern Illinois, adult behavioral health and Centegra’s billing department.

Brennan said with health care reforms going forward we may see shorter and reduced hospital stays to meet Medicare and insurance guidelines. Many hospitals are seeking community partnerships to minimize re-admissions to hospitals, maintain quality of care and keep costs down.

Brennan said Hearthstone has hired a complete staff for all three shifts, including nurses and certified nursing assistants. Some Centegra associates transitioned to become Hearthstone employees, exemplifying their commitment to the unit and the care provided. Centegra provided a group of associates to provide cross-training, that began Jan. 7. A team of 20 people has been hired by Hearthstone, and that number may go as high as 30 as patient population increases. Hearthstone anticipates half the unit will be occupied by mid-February.

Egan said this is Hearthstone’s first off-campus program in Woodstock, and the close proximity to its location on Seminary Avenue will provide ample administrative support services. Egan is excited that Hearthstone can expand its mission to offer hope, healing and purposeful living to residents of McHenry County.

• • •

An event has been added for Groundhog Day 2013 – bowling. Wayne’s Lanes will be open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Cost is $10 for two games, pastry and juice from 7:30 to 11 a.m. and $10 for two games, shoes and slice of pizza from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Profits will benefit the Woodstock High School bowling teams. Wayne’s Lanes is one of the plaqued sites in Woodstock featured in the movie “Groundhog Day.”

• Don Peasley has been editor, columnist and historian in McHenry County since 1947. He began his association with Shaw Publications in 1950. 815-338-1533

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