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Lourdes Specialty Hospital Begins Large Expansion of Long-Term Acute Care Facility

Expanded hospital will help to meet extended care needs of area residents

In response to an overwhelming regional need, Lourdes Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey, the first long-term acute care hospital (LTAC) in South Jersey, is expanding to become the largest facility of its kind in the Delaware Valley.

Open since 2006, Lourdes Specialty Hospital, a joint venture of Acuity Healthcare and Lourdes Health System, will grow from 30 licensed beds in 18 rooms to 69 licensed beds in 54 rooms. The facility is currently located on the third floor of Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County and by early next year also will also occupy the hospital’s former maternity wing. Both areas will be renovated to meet the needs of patients, their families and medical staff.

LTAC facilities provide additional care and medical oversight for ill patients until they are well enough to move on to their next level of recovery-generally at home or in a rehabilitation facility. This expansion is expected to significantly reduce the waiting period for many area residents in need of this type of long-term care.

“With the overwhelming need for long-term acute care facilities in just our area alone, we will now be able to serve and care for more patients in need. We look forward to positively impacting the lives of a greater number of area residents with this expansion and to providing them with the medical care they so greatly need to recover,” said Cheri Cowperthwait, RN, the Specialty Hospital’s CEO.  

While traditional hospitals are equipped and staffed to
manage critically ill and medically complex patients for a limited amount of time, Lourdes Specialty Hospital is specifically designed to manage these patients over a longer period. The facility provides intensive acute-care services for patients requiring extended hospital stays averaging 25 days or more. Patients admitted to the LTAC generally suffer from one or more of the following conditions:

  • Ventilator dependent respiratory failure
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Neurological illness
  • Multisystem organ failure
  • Complex wounds
  • Complex orthopedic conditions
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Major trauma

“We have some of the most critically ill patients of any LTAC in the United States,” said Cowperthwait, with patients hailing from southern and central New Jersey, Philadelphia and Bucks County, Pennsylvania. “These patients don’t have options to go elsewhere. Lourdes fills that need for many residents around the region.”

Lourdes Specialty Hospital has a staff of 270 physicians and a clinical team consisting of clinical case management staff, registered nurses, respiratory therapists, registered dieticians, certified wound ostomy nurses, physical, occupational and speech therapists and clinical pharmacists. A physician-driven, interdisciplinary team approach is used to deliver comprehensive, personalized care. Patients see their attending physician daily and have access to specialists.

In addition, each patient is assigned a nurse case manager and social worker who work with the family and physicians to ensure coordinated care. “We place great effort on bringing the family and all other caretakers into the patient plan of care as part of the healing process. This tremendously impacts the patient’s recovery for the better when all care parties are involved,” noted Cowperthwait.

Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey and Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County

Although physically located on the campus of Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County, Lourdes Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey is a medical facility that operates as a separate and distinct ‘hospital-within-a-hospital’ with its own leadership team, employees and medical staff. AcuityHealthcare, a company that specializes in opening and operating long-term acute care hospitals nationwide, has partnered with Lourdes Health System in the development and operation of this extended acute care hospital.

For more information, please contact Lauren Ward via phone at (856) 705-1375 or via email at Wardl@lourdesnet.org.

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