RAPID CITY, S.D. • Plans to build a new specialty hospital is underway in Rapid City.

The future hospital will serve the acute medical rehabilitation and long-term acute care needs of patients throughout the region, and be operated by a joint venture partnership between Monument Health and Vibra Healthcare, which operates 29 long-term acute care and rehabilitation hospitals nationwide.

Construction on the 55,000-square foot hospital is expected to begin this fall, the companies announced on Thursday, May 27.

The Rehabilitation and Critical Care Hospital of the Black Hills will have 36 rehabilitation beds, as well as 18 long-term acute care beds. It will be built near the northwest corner of the Catron Boulevard and U.S. Highway 16 intersection.

Monument Health’s existing rehabilitation hospital, now located at The Village at Skyline Pines Assisted Living and Memory Care, will move to the new facility when construction is complete. The new Long Term Acute Care Hospital (LTACH) will be part of the new facility. It will be the first LTACH in the region.

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“Patients are typically at these locations for weeks on end, which puts a significant burden on their families,” Mark Longacre, vice president of Operations for Monument Health in Rapid City, said in a statement. “It’s important for patients to be near their families, and we’re excited that we will be able to provide this care locally.”

Currently, patients who need this type of advanced care may be transferred to Billings, Mont., Bismarck, N.D., Sioux Falls, S.D., Lincoln, Neb., or Denver, according to information from Monument Health.

It said that when a patient suffers a heart attack, brain injury or other type of serious medical condition, they are admitted to an acute care hospital for surgery or other treatment, usually on a short-term basis. Monument Health Rapid City Hospital or Spearfish Hospital serve in this role.

When patients need long-term hospitalization for complex medical issues, however, an LTACH is often better equipped for that type of care. These hospitals specialize in treating serious respiratory, cardiac, multi-system, neurological and infectious disease, as well as wound healing and other conditions. Hospital stays are often 21 days or more.

Acute medical rehabilitation, the type of treatment currently offered at the Village at Skyline Pines, helps patients recover after a stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury or other traumatic event. Monument Health’s existing 16-bed acute rehabilitation unit has outgrown its space in The Village at Skyline Pines, said Monument Health Executive Medical Director Dr. Kelly Stacy.

“With this expansion, we will be able to offer a greater number of services to more patients, which will help in their return home,” she said.

Brad Hollinger, CEO of Vibra Healthcare, said Vibra is pleased to partner with Monument Health to expand post-acute care services in the region, noting “we look forward to providing patients and their families with two specialized restorative care options close to home.”