Riverside Health System Opens 24-Bed Pulmonary Rehabilitation Unit in Newport News

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The short stay rehabilitation unit at Warwick Forest’s “The Gardens” opened following a study that indicated it could help improve clinical outcomes, reducing the number of patients readmitted to the hospital after discharge.

Our goal is to have our patients return home or to the community with improved function and better control of their chronic respiratory conditions.

As part of its ongoing efforts to ensure patients avoid returning to the hospital after getting discharged, Riverside Health System is pleased to announce it has opened a 24-bed pulmonary care rehabilitation unit at its skilled nursing center at The Gardens in Newport News, near Yorktown, Va.

“We are excited to be a part of the continuum of care for our respiratory patients in the community that require additional rehab prior to returning home, but may not necessarily need the intensity of services of a long term acute care setting,” said Bob Bryant, Senior Vice President of Riverside’s Lifelong Health division.

“Our goal is to have our patients return home or to the community with improved function and better control of their chronic respiratory conditions.”

In 2010, Riverside studied the respiratory therapy services across the health system and determined that 10 percent of patients discharged, returning directly to their home following acute care stays, could benefit from a more comprehensive care to avoid re-hospitalization.

Riverside renovated an area of The Gardens to open the 24-bed pulmonary care rehabilitation unit to help patients receive that additional care in the form of a stay at a short-term skilled nursing facility designed to support their specialized respiratory needs.

The respiratory care at The Gardens’ pulmonary care rehabilitation unit is provided by an interdisciplinary team, led by Dr. Robert Orlino, a Board Certified Critical Care / Pulmonologist who serves as the unit’s Medical Director and works in collaboration with Dr. Emmeline Gasink, the campus Medical Director and Dr. Joe Ward, Medical Director for the Gardens. The interdisciplinary team also includes registered nurses and in-house respiratory therapists. The team provides around the clock care and support.

Patients eligible for admission into the unit include those suffering from, among other ailments, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), interstitial lung disease, occupational and environmental lung disease, pulmonary embolism, shortness of breath impacting ability to perform activities of daily living, pulmonary vascular disease, pulmonary hypertension, sarcoidosis and sleep apnea.

The pulmonary care rehabilitation unit is currently accepting admissions.

This unit marks another Riverside Health System effort to improve care transitions for patients and ensure their clinical outcomes are such that once they leave the hospital they don’t have to return for the same ailment.

Riverside Health System and Bay Aging earned The Patient Care 2013 Virginia Healthcare Innovators Award for their work in coaching patients through their transition from a hospital stay to home.

“This is about offering the best possible care, from a hospital stay to the time they return home,” Bryant said. “This is about our patients and ensuring they have positive outcomes.”


Warwick Forest is one of three Riverside Health System Continuing Care Retirement Communities. Located in Newport News, Va. on the Yorktown border, Warwick Forest offers all levels of care – from independent living to skilled nursing – for residents 60 and older.

The Gardens at Warwick Forest offers compassionate, supportive services for those needing short-term rehabilitation after a hospital stay – typically seven to 14 days of therapy and nursing – as well as those who need 24-hour nursing, memory support or end of life care.

Learn more about Warwick Forest at warwickforest.com

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Stephanie Heinatz
Consociate Media
since: 08/2012
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