With construction of its new rehabilitation center underway, the Fulton County Health Center in Wauseon wants to bring advanced services to Fulton County.
Ground was broken on the approximately $4.5 million facility on Oct. 28, with completion expected by the beginning of September 2020. FCHC spokesperson Steve McCoy said the more than 11,000 square foot building at 719 S. Shoop Ave., just beside the health center, will offer state-of-the-art programs specifically for physical, occupational, and speech rehabilitation.
“It allows us to remain competitive with all the rapid changes happening in health care,” McCoy said. “The main thing is to really expand our wellness options and continue the growing needs of rehab therapy.”
Features will include a therapeutic pool with an underwater treadmill and resistance jets; a body weight support and fall prevention system for patient stabilization; wall-mounted designs used for balance and reaching activities; specialized pediatric treatment; occupational and speech therapy treatment; lighting options and carpet and wallpaper patterns designed to introduce stimuli and decrease sensitivity; and a dedicated vestibular treatment room for dizziness and balance problems.
The facility will also have a training kitchen and bathroom, and a conference room available for meetings with family members and case managers.
At present, a parking lot is being constructed to hold construction equipment and building materials. The facility was designed by PMBA Architects in Perrysburg, Ohio, which also designed FCHC’s new South Medical Office Building. Rupp-Rosebrock of Liberty Center is the project’s general contractor.
The new rehabilitation center is financed through a portion of a U.S. Department of Agriculture loan that was also used to build the medical office building. The loan is designed to assist rural critical access hospitals.
McCoy said the free-standing building will replace FCHC’s current rehabilitation center located on the health center’s ground floor. That area was opened after the rehabilitation program was moved two years ago from its Elm Street location directly onto the health center’s campus. The Elm Street location was converted to a wellness and fitness center.
The health center’s original rehabilitation center was opened in the 1990s as a combined rehab/wellness center. But health center administrators realized that, as the current population ages and requires more rehabilitation services, a stand-alone, specialized rehab center became necessary.
“As we were moving forward we realized we needed to separate those units into dedicated centers for each one,” McCoy said. “It just works out better as two units. Its more private, and really offers more focused rehab care. We’ll be able to offer more and more types of rehab services.”
Construction on the new center was scheduled to begin sooner but FCHC wanted the South Medical Building built first. Then that project was delayed by inclement weather and equipment and material hold-ups, among other factors.
Fulton County Health Center CEO Patti Finn said the rehabilitation center will be a premier facility in northwest Ohio offering up-to-date equipment and features. She said it has long been the health center’s intention to expand the rehabilitation area of the facility.
When finished, the new rehabilitation center will be a jewel that serves the health needs of the county well, McCoy said, adding, “It’s a rehab center that could really meet the needs for the next 10, 20, 30 years.”
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.