UCI Health and Kindred Rehabilitation Services (KRS), a business unit of LifePoint Health, have signed a definitive agreement to form a joint venture to build and run a 52-bed, 68,000ft2 inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Orange County, Irvine, California.

To be located at 17931 Von Karman Ave, the hospital will employ up to 200 people.

The UCI Health Rehabilitation Hospital will cater to the increasing clinical requirements of the Orange County region.

The hospital will treat patients recovering from conditions such as traumatic brain, spinal cord injury, stroke, besides trauma, burn and orthopaedic patients.

KRS will manage the hospital’s daily operations.

Patients will get care provided by UCI Health physicians and clinical staff. The care will be provided in private rooms and rehabilitation facilities.

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The entities expect construction of the inpatient hospital to commence in December this year, with patients admission to start in late 2025.

The construction of the hospital is expected to cost about $80m.

Kindred Rehabilitation Services president Russ Bailey said: “We are excited to collaborate with UCI Health to build and operate a new facility that will improve access to high quality rehabilitative care in Orange County.”

Bailey further added: “This partnering with a premier academic healthcare system will create a hospital that leverages the clinical innovations and best care practices to deliver outcomes and experiences that improve patients’ lives and, in the process, advance our mission of making healthier communities.”

The rehabilitation hospital will serve patients across the region, including those treated at UCI Medical Center in Orange, which is home to the county’s only Level I trauma center and regional burn center, a comprehensive stroke center, as well as large orthopedic and neurological surgery services.

It will also cater to patients from the UCI Health — Irvine, which is the new medical complex under construction at the UCI campus.

The medical complex is expected to be completely open in 2025, and once open will include a 144-bed acute care hospital and will specialise in orthopedics and neurosurgery.

UCI Health CEO Chad T. Lefteris said: “UCI Health and Kindred have a shared vision to create the most innovative and comprehensive rehabilitation center on the West Coast.

“As Orange County’s only academic health system, UCI Health provides leading critical care to a region of more than three-and-a-half million people — they deserve a state-of-the-art rehabilitation center that offers advanced technologies to help them get back to their lives faster.”

The move will expand the UCI Health inpatient rehabilitation capacity from its current 14 rehabilitation beds at UCI Medical Center in Orange.