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Hillcreek Rehabilitation opens 33-bed COVID unit

Skilled-nursing facility answers Gov. Beshear’s request for support

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Hillcreek Rehabilitation and Care is opening a 33-bed unit to serve patients with a positive diagnosis for COVID-19, making it one of few skilled-nursing facilities in Kentucky to provide beds to support overflow from area hospitals. The Respiratory Recovery Unit at Hillcreek Rehabilitation and Care is located at 3116 Breckenridge Lane and will begin receiving patients April 15.

“We’re pleased to partner with Kentucky’s Office of the Inspector General to support our Commonwealth’s COVID-19 patients during this unprecedented time,” said Tom Rawlins, executive director of Hillcreek Rehabilitation and Care. “We are honored to provide compassionate care for our most vulnerable population of seniors.”

The Respiratory Recovery Unit is contained in a distinct area of the building, with a separate entrance and exit, and features a self-contained HVAC system. Patients will be cared for by medical and housekeeping staff dedicated solely to this unit.

“The safety of our employees and residents has always been and remains paramount as we expand our facility to meet the needs of COVID-19 patients,” said Rawlins. “We’re strictly following CDC guidelines concerning Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other safety requirements.”

Dr. Kheder Kutmah
Kutmah, left, and Babar.

A dedicated medical staff, led by Dr. Kheder Kutmah, will provide care for patients. Kutmah will serve as the treating medical director and pulmonologist for the unit and Dr. Muhammad Babar will oversee the quality management system. Telehealth for all physician-related services and social services features prominently into the approach for care.

The medical team will also consult with an infectious disease physician for ongoing tracking and reporting of outcomes. Hillcreek Rehabilitation and Care received a deficiency-free infection control survey last week.

The following medical specialties will be represented:

  • 24-Hour Nursing
  • 24-Hour Respiratory Therapy
  • 24-Hour Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Daily Pulmonologist visits
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Consults via telemedicine
  • Therapy provided via Telehealth

“Our ability to provide 24-hour respiratory therapy for patients sets us apart,” said Brenda Franklin, vice president of clinical services and specialty program coordinator. “Our state-of-the art equipment provides good outcomes for COVID-19 and general respiratory patients.”

Patients will require a direct transfer from an area hospital, following initial assessment and treatment protocols, and must meet admissions criteria in order to be discharged to the Respiratory Recovery Unit. Once patients have been referred, family members can contact the facility directly to ask questions.

“We truly appreciate the commitment made by Hillcreek Rehabilitation and Care, in expanding their operations to serve COVID patients,” said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health. “We’re relying upon this type of dedication and leadership to provide extra support for our most vulnerable seniors.”

For more information, please visit www.respiratoryrecoveryunit.com.