AMSTERDAM - It has not even been a year since St. Mary's Hospital acquired Amsterdam Memorial Hospital, and positive changes can be seen in the rehabilitation services available to patients.
Rosemary McGuire, the director of physical rehabilitation services at St. Mary's Hospital, said while it may have been an acquisition for St. Mary's Hospital, for their respective rehabilitation services, it was more like they were joining forces.
"It's like one big family now," she said.
Rosemary McGuire, the director of physical rehabilitation services at St. Mary’s Hospital, looks out a window in the kitchen in the acute care rehabilitation unit at the hospital’s Amsterdam Memorial campus.
St. Mary's Hospital officially acquired Amsterdam Memorial Hospital in June. Planning for the merger took nearly three years and was funded in part by a $20 million Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law grant.
Before the acquisition, both hospitals provided outpatient and inpatient rehabilitation services. While St. Mary's Hospital also had cardiac rehabilitation services, Amsterdam Memorial Hospital had sports medicine and offered rehabilitation services at the Wilkinson Center nursing home.
Cardiac rehabilitation services and inpatient rehabilitation services stayed at St. Mary's Hospital's main campus. The rest of the hospital's rehabilitation services - acute care rehabilitation, outpatient, sports medicine and the Wilkinson Center - are at the Memorial campus.
There now are 49 members of the rehabilitation services staff, McGuire said. Having all those staff members available is helpful for everyone, she said. It allows for more opinions to be shared in regards to helping a particular patient. Patients who need multiple rehabilitation services also will get to deal with one group of staff looking at one medical record, McGuire said, helping cut down on confusion and letting the staff focus on healing the patient.
The outpatient rehabilitation facility was redesigned at the Memorial Campus to handle a variety of patients. It includes a large, open gym area with exercise equipment, whirlpools and a kitchen.
Deb Auspelmyer, the president of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, said a Business Afterhours mixer recently was held at the outpatient rehabilitation facility so people could get a look at the new place, and see what has changed since the acquisition.
Sue McDonald, a speech language pathologist for St. Mary's Hospital, said she had to relocate briefly while work was being done on the outpatient rehabilitation facility. However, she said, it was not a problem.
"[The merger] has been very smooth," McDonald said.
McGuire said there is stress anytime there is change, but by working together and keeping the rehabilitation services, a lot of concerns were eased.
McGuire said given the variety of rehabilitation services - such as occupational therapy and speech therapy - St. Mary's Hospital now offers in the city at the two locations, she hopes people know they are available.
"There is less of a need for people to go out of the area to get services," she said.