Plans for rehabilitation hospital approved for a west Tacoma site

Tacoma-based CHI Franciscan Health has announced the approval of plans to construct and operate a 60-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital in west Tacoma.

The health service will partner with Kindred Healthcare of Kentucky for the project approved by the Washington State Department of Health, which has issued a certificate of need.

Current services offered by CHI Franciscan’s inpatient rehabilitation center at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma will be relocated to the new hospital, planned for a site at 815 S. Vassault St.

A joint news release from Kindred and CHI Franciscan characterized the approval as a “significant regulatory step toward building the hospital.”

“Care for patients needing long-term rehabilitation care has hit a tipping point in Pierce County,” said Ketul Patel, CHI Franciscan CEO, in the release. “Our partnership with Kindred is a giant step toward meeting that critical need.”

The new hospital will offer care to adults recovering from conditions including stroke, neurological disease, brain and spinal cord injuries and other unspecified long-term injury or illness.

Kindred will manage day-to-day operations at the facility. Subject to regulatory and other approvals, the principals estimate an opening in early 2018.

A CHI Franciscan spokesman said via email Friday that the site will be “a new build.”

John Brett of the Afifi Shriners confirmed Friday that the group’s hall on the site had been sold to the new medical partnership.

“Several years ago it was determined that we needed to pay attention to our finances more closely,” Brett said when reached Friday. “We’ve been actively trying to sell it for several years.”

Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

C.R. Roberts: 253-597-8535