Orlando Health Announces Plans to Establish New Freestanding Rehabilitation Institute

Institute a major part of strategic expansion in rehabilitation services

Ocoee, FL (April 6, 2022) – To best meet the current demand and anticipated need for rehabilitative care in Central Florida and beyond, Orlando Health is announcing plans to develop a freestanding rehabilitation facility in West Orange County. The building will open as a 54-bed inpatient facility distinctively designed to provide high quality post-acute care for patients requiring medical and rehabilitative services. The current CARF-accredited inpatient rehabilitation program at Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center will relocate to this new site, the first freestanding comprehensive medical rehabilitation facility in Orange County. CARF is the acronym for the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.

“This expansion will allow us to provide patients and families with a seamless transition out of our acute hospitals and into an inpatient facility dedicated to medical and functional rehabilitation,” said Jason Atienza, MD, MBA, FACHE, corporate medical director of rehabilitation medicine. “The plan is to combine the expertise of our accomplished rehabilitation team, award-winning patient experience, numerous research efforts and a newly-designed space to provide the best rehabilitation care possible.”

Patients who suffer a stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, multiple orthopedic injuries, amputation, or a variety of complex neurological conditions typically require specialized rehabilitative care administered in an inpatient setting. Patients will have rehabilitation physician visits, a coordinated therapy and nursing program, dietary evaluation, care management services and neuropsychology consultation as needed. The facility will have all private rooms, dedicated therapy space including quiet areas for stroke/brain injured patients, bariatric access, and expansive outdoor space for additional therapeutic activity. The institute will use state-of-the-art rehabilitative equipment including weight-assisted treadmill, robotics for training in arm/hand coordination and walking, and communication assistance technology. Specialty programs in Disorders of Consciousness (severe brain injury), adolescent rehabilitation, community outreach initiatives and research in the fields of stroke, brain injury and spinal cord injury will continue to develop in this new setting.

“This facility is being designed in a way that will allow us the capability to adapt the scale and scope of our services as the needs of our patient population evolve,” said Greg Ohe, senior vice president of ambulatory and post-acute services. “While the plan is to open the doors as a facility with 54 inpatient beds, the building will have the capacity to expand rapidly to 100 beds. The need for acute rehabilitation services is expected to rise as the area’s population grows. It is our responsibility to spot these trends and plan accordingly.”

The project is anticipated to progress quickly since ground-up construction of a new structure is not required. The Orlando Health Center for Rehabilitation, a skilled nursing facility currently located on the campus of Orlando Health – Health Central Hospital in West Orange County, will undergo the required renovations and upgrades needed to transition into becoming Orlando Health’s first freestanding rehabilitation hospital. The Orlando Health Center for Rehabilitation opened in 2019 with funding support from the West Orange Healthcare District.

“With the building being less than three years old and the campus being so accessible from various locations across Central Florida, this was the ideal site to establish the first Orlando Health rehabilitation hospital,” said Mr. Ohe. “Another advantage to that location is the significant amount of acreage on that campus, which will allow us to continue to expand as demand dictates.”

The facility is expected to begin accepting patients in early 2023.


About Orlando Health

Orlando Health, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, is a not-for-profit healthcare organization with $7.6 billion of assets under management that serves the southeastern United States.

Founded more than 100 years ago, the healthcare system is recognized around the world for its pediatric and adult Level One Trauma program as well as the only state-accredited Level Two Adult Trauma Center in the St. Petersburg region. It is the home of the nation’s largest neonatal intensive care unit under one roof, the only system in the southeast to offer open fetal surgery to repair the most severe forms of spina bifida, the site of an Olympic athlete training facility and operator of one of the largest and highest performing clinically integrated networks in the region. Orlando Health has pioneered life-changing medical research and its Graduate Medical Education program hosts more than 350 residents and fellows. The 3,200-bed system includes 16 wholly-owned hospitals and emergency departments; rehabilitation services, cancer and heart institutes, imaging and laboratory services, wound care centers, physician offices for adults and pediatrics, skilled nursing facilities, an in-patient behavioral health facility, home healthcare services in partnership with LHC Group, and urgent care centers in partnership with FastMed Urgent Care. Nearly 4,500 physicians, representing more than 90 medical specialties and subspecialties have privileges across the Orlando Health system, which employs more than 23,000 team members. In FY21, Orlando Health served nearly 160,000 inpatients and nearly 3.6 million outpatients. During that same time period, Orlando Health provided approximately $648 million in total value to the communities it serves in the form of charity care, community benefit programs and services, community building activities and more. Additional information can be found at, or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @orlandohealth.

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