A 37,000-square-foot building, vacant since last October, has a second life with new occupants working to revive the lives of the injured and impaired.
Sterlington Rehabilition has relocated its 10 in-patients from the first floor of Morehouse General Hospital to the former Hickory Manor at 370 W. Hickory St., after seven months of moderate renovations – some ongoing.
The bigger building has enabled the clinic to increase its number of full-time employees from 40 to 60 and will now be able to slowly increase its number of in-patients to 18.
Sterlington Rehab signed a lease to occupy the building for three years. Its new home will now enable it to also treat to its outpatients at one site.
“It's nice, larger. We now have room for more therapy activities like art and music. We can give better care,” said speech therapist Jasmine Wilson.
Sterlington Rehab administrator Cathy Martin said that the facility concentrates on rural patients and accepts Medicaid, which applies to the large senior population in Morehouse Parish.
“This region, because of the kind of jobs people have, also tends to cause a higher number of physical injuries. And we can fill a need there,” Martin said.
Many of the patients at the center suffer from strokes, spinal chord and head injuries. Some simply lost some ability to physically function independently.
One of Sterlington Rehab's five physicians, Dr. Jack Noble, said that with medical care professionals meeting the growing number of seniors in Morehouse, it's helped carve a local economic niche, which helps add to an employment sector.
“Bastrop is getting a good reputation with its available therapy that many patients as far away as Monroe are getting recommendations” to come here,” Noble said.
“Rehab opportunities are allowing patients to stay longer to get help they need and have fewer delays waiting for the help.”
The growing number or rehabilitation possibilities come with it an increase of new equipment to bolster treatment, says Corporate Compliance officer Julene McAlister.
Such items include a balance assessment machine and a balance retrain analyzer. Other accessories include playing particular games on Wii Video.
“We have a long waiting list,” McAlister said.