HealthSouth Corp. said it has received permission from the state of Florida to build a $21 million, 40-bed hospital in Ocala that will specialize in physical rehabilitation for patients with trauma, brain and orthopedic injuries, strokes, and other major illness or injuries.
"This state-of-the-art hospital will provide a new and different type of service which will further augment the already strong continuum of healthcare services provided in Ocala/Marion County," Linda Wilder, president of HealthSouth's Southeast region, said in a media release. "We look forward to working with other providers in the community to integrate this new service in Marion County."
Construction on the 49,000-square foot Ocala Rehabilitation Hospital of Marion County, LLC is expected to begin by the end of 2011. Once it is operational, the hospital will create around 112 new, full-time jobs.
With 81,000 residents over the age of 65, Marion County is the largest county in Florida that doesn't have access to inpatient rehabilitation—a number that is expected to grow at a rate of 18%, faster than any other county in Florida, Wilder said.
"Currently, Marion County residents have very limited access to an inpatient rehabilitation hospital requiring patients and their families to travel to Gainesville or Spring Hill. This new hospital will ensure that residents have appropriate and reasonable access to the latest rehabilitative treatment and technology in a hospital setting," Wilder said.
Birmingham, AL-based HealthSouth is the nation's largest provider of inpatient rehabilitative healthcare services, with operations in 26 states, including nine inpatient rehabilitation hospitals and one long-term acute care hospital in Florida.