Published to talkbusiness.net on October 7, 2019
Written by Tina Alvey Dale

Arkansas Colleges of Health Education (ACHE) donated land for Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital Fort Smith, allowing the new hospital to help patients in the Fort Smith area and students at the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM).

Mercy Hospital Fort Smith and Kindred Healthcare announced June 26 plans for a new 40-bed inpatient rehab hospital called Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital. It was announced Monday (Oct. 7) that ACHE would donate four acres next to ARCOM on the ACHE campus, giving the hospital a home.

Kindred will manage day-to-day operations of the hospital, which will provide care for adults recovering from stroke, neurological disease, injury to the brain or spinal cord and other debilitating illnesses or injuries. Kindred, a healthcare services company based in Louisville, Ky., has annual revenues of approximately $3.3 billion.

The hospital will serve as a teaching site for students in ACHE’s School of Occupational Therapy and School of Physical Therapy, which will open soon, a media release said. Mercy has an inpatient rehab facility in its Fort Smith hospital as well as outpatient rehab services.

“We are so thankful to ACHE for their generous gift and their support in bringing additional inpatient rehabilitation services to our community,” said Ryan Gehrig, president of Mercy Hospital Fort Smith. “We’ve had a strong relationship with ACHE for many years and we look forward to more opportunities to partner in the future.”

Construction of the 49,000-square-foot rehabilitation hospital is planned for early 2020, the release said. Construction is expected to take 12 months with a cost of about $23 million, according to a previous news release.

In 2017, Mercy and ACHE collaborated to build Mercy Clinic Chaffee Crossing, a 13,500-square-foot primary care clinic on the grounds of ACHE’s Fort Smith campus. The clinic serves as a teaching clinic for ARCOM.

“Our partnership with Mercy has been a critical element in fulfilling our mission to improve lives in our community,” said Kyle Parker, CEO of ACHE. “Through these cooperative efforts, we are excited to expand health care and provide learning environments for our students.”