Friday, July 11, 2008

LOCAL: Graduate Hospital Reopens With New Name, New Owners

(previously published here at

Philadelphia - After closing its doors nearly 16 months ago, Philadelphia's Graduate Hospital reopened yesterday with a newly renovated building and a new name: Penn Medicine at Rittenhouse.

The six-story campus in Center City on 18th and Lombard will specialize in providing post-acute medical care in two separate hospitals: a 38-bed long-term acute care hospital called Good Shepherd Specialty Hospital at Rittenhouse, and a 58-bed inpatient rehabilitation facility called Penn Institute for Rehabilitative Medicine for patients recovering from stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries and other illnesses requiring continued care.

Long-term acute care is medical care required for patients who need a level of continued and extended medical or nursing care that would not be available or affordable elsewhere. As described on the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital website, these patients are usually too ill to both stay in regular care or be discharged or transferred to a nursing facility.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System in Philadelphia and the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network of Allentown purchased the then-struggling Graduate Hospital (it lost $29.9 million in the 2007 fiscal year, according to a Thursday report by PHC4) and several surrounding properties last year from Texas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. for $16.5 million and spent $70 million for renovations.

"We've pretty much filled most of the building with new programs," said Michael Dandorph, Penn Health System's senior vice president for business development, to the Philadelphia Business Journal. "We have a lot of space and a lot of program needs."

In addition to the acute care hospital and the rehabilitation hospital, the medical center will also have a 14-bed hospice unit on the top floor, along with its relocated patient simulation center where medical and allied health students will also be able to train on high-tech mannequins. Other services will include an ambulatory-surgery center, a pain-management center, and a radiology suite.

The Penn Health System will relocate some administrative offices to the site, as well as create an outpatient rehabilitation center.

The new Penn Medicine hospital is being operated by Good Shepherd Penn Partners (GSPP), a joint venture established last year by the two owners/investors, and has created 115 new jobs and GSPP estimates that 414 full-time staff will be employed once the medical center is fully up and running.

An additional 200 employees will work at the eight outpatient GSPP Penn Therapy and Fitness Centers throughout the region, also run by GSPP.

"We're excited about the joint venture because of the true continuum of care it brings to our patients," said Ralph W. Mueller, CEO of the Penn Health System, to the Philadelphia Business Journal. "Our patients can now transition seamlessly to post-acute care and other medical care services so essential for the best outcomes."

Heather J. Chin can be reached at

©The Evening Bulletin 2008

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