The 2-acre lot next to Mercy Regional Medical Center shows only the first signs of construction, but, in a years time, Joyce Humiston expects the property to boast a 40-room rehabilitation and extended-care center.
Humiston is the president of C & G Health Care Management, a Cortez-based company that oversees eight skilled-nursing facilities in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona, including the Valley Inn in Mancos and Pine Ridge Extended Care Center in Pagosa Springs.
The rehabilitation facility, called Cottonwood Inn, will be the only operation within the company focused exclusively on rehabilitation, said Linda Carter, marketing director for C & G Health Care Management.
It also will be the only facility of its kind in the southwest region, Humiston said.
Mercy Regional Medical Care was the first entity to bring up the idea of a nearby rehabilitation facility to treat those recovering from surgeries and illness. The hospital reached out to several companies in the industry asking if any would be interested in taking on the project. Humistons company was the only one that expressed interest, she said.
Mercy wanted to complete their campus, she said.
Builders broke ground in October. It was one of 17 building permits the city of Durango issued for the Three Springs area in 2012.
Cottonwoods $6.5 million facility will have private rooms and a large courtyard, an in-ground swimming pool for hydrotherapy and various therapy programs.
Humiston hopes to get the states approval for eight of the 40 beds to accept Medicaid patients needing specialty care such as ventilator care, bariatric care, HIV or AIDs care and brain- and head-trauma care.
The ventilator care would be the only such unit in this part of the state, Humiston said.
The long-term care facilities in the area also offer rehabilitation care, but Cottonwoods location makes it easy for patients and doctors to move between the rehabilitation center and other offices in Mercys medical campus, she said. Right now, local patients who need rehabilitation care go to Pine Ridge Extended Care Center, Valley Inn or Four Corners Health Care Center in Durango, Humiston said.
The facility will help more people recover close to home, said Kirk Dignum, former CEO of Mercy.
There were certain patients we had to ship out of the community for long term rehab, said Dignum, who worked closely with Cottonwood until he left Mercy last fall. The goal was to keep those patients closer to home.