Health & Medicine

Stroke unit part of Cardinal Hill addition

Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital will break ground Tuesday for a major addition that will almost double the number of beds in the 60-year-old hospital on Versailles Road.

The three-story addition will add 100 beds and connect directly to the east end of the existing hospital.

"It's about making this facility more effective," Kerry Gillihan, Cardinal Hill president and chief executive, said in a prepared statement.

The expansion will include a new stroke unit named for Thoroughbred horse owner Marylou Whitney and her husband, John Hendrickson. Whitney gave $500,000 to Cardinal Hill in 2007 for the addition and has since made two other major gifts.

Cardinal Hill is a physical rehabilitation hospital for patients with a variety of injuries, including spinal cord and orthopedic injuries.

In addition to inpatient treatment, the hospital offers outpatient care for children and adults, and home health services.

Hospital spokeswoman Jenny Wurzback said, "Our whole focus is physical rehabilitation. That requires a lot of space and a lot of equipment. That is why this expansion is so important."

Construction is expected to take 24 months. As work progresses, it can be viewed live through a link on Cardinal Hill's Web site:

Cardinal Hill was started in 1950 as a polio treatment center for children. It is an Easter Seals affiliate, but the hospital is managed locally. It serves patients from all over Kentucky and takes referrals from other hospitals in the South and Midwest.