Thanks to the big new expansion at The Pearl at Kruse Way Rehabilitation Health Center, Lisa Sienkiewicz can now tell people 'Yes' instead of 'No.'
'We've been waiting a long time for this,' said Sienkiewicz, who has been the center's administrator for the past four years. 'We started with 29 rehabilitation beds and that remained what we had until last year.
'We have eight hospitals partnering with us in all, and so often I would have to say, 'No, we can't take your patient. We're full.' That didn't go over very well. Every month we had to turn away from 3 to 30 patients.'
Amy Rosenberg, public relations representative for The Pearl, said, 'This was hard because Lake Oswego people wanted their loved ones to be close to home so they could visit them.'
With the $300,000 expansion completed in November, The Pearl now has a 45-patient capacity for its rehabilitation unit. True, the patient capacity was reached just eight days after the renovation was completed, but now turnover is much faster.
'Patients come here directly out of the hospital,' Sienkiewicz said, 'when they have motor accidents, hip or knee replacements, back injuries, strokes or heart attacks. Our goal is to get you as strong as possible so you can return to your home or care facility.'
As soon as Sienkiewicz had dealt with all of the red tape from the city and state, The Pearl project proceeded at a happy pace when it began early last autumn. Besides allowing patients to have the opportunity for therapy seven days a week, the project was an economic boon to Lake Oswego.
'This expansion created some great jobs,' Sienkiewicz said. 'At one time we had 10 trades working here. We now employ 118 people here. It's nice that we're growing while the country is still in the heart of a recession.'
The grand opening of the new Pearl drew a relatively huge crowd of 120 people, many of them doctors, nurses and therapists who have been so eager to send their patients to The Pearl.
Then there is 'the other part of the story.'
'We're developing a great service partnership with the Lake Oswego community,' Sienkiewicz said. 'With students from Lake Oswego High School, mother and daughter projects, florists. We'll have blood drives, host Chamber of Commerce, and have Metro planning sessions. Our outreach program is really great.'
Visitors to The Pearl can find out about the many honors the center has received, including receiving four straight perfect state inspections from 2008 to 2011 and national recognition from the American Healthcare Association.
'We have a lot to be proud of here,' Sienkiewicz said.
For more information about The Pearl at Kruse Way, visit www.ThePearlatKruseWay.com or call 503 675-6055.