Eagle Rehabilitation opens at former Highland Terrace site

Open house is set for Thursday

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The facility formerly known as Highland Terrace Nursing Center has a new name, a new administrator and 27 new private rooms.

The rooms in Eagle Rehabilitation At Camas are in a short-term rehabilitation wing for patients who want to recover from orthopedic surgeries or strokes.

The wing features new furniture, fixtures and equipment. There are also new sheets and bedspreads, flat screen TVs, direct dial telephones, locking cabinets and bathrooms with showers.

The intention is to provide rooms for individuals as they “transition from hospital to home,” according to Paul McVay, who recently succeeded Bill Swanson as the administrator. Swanson now manages Columbia View Care Center, in Cathlamet.

The rehabilitation wing includes a private treatment room with ultrasound as well as electrical and infrared stimulation machines for wound care.

A new 3,000 square foot therapy gym includes a Dynamic Stair Trainer, an Omnicycle Elite, a treadmill and an electronic parallel bars machine.

“The electronic parallel bars allow patients to perform beginning standing activities, standing exercises, practice transitioning from sit to stand, help to perform balance activities and walking, training in a safer environment and support from the bars that surround them,” said Sheri Boles, an occupational therapist and regional director of rehabilitation for Eagle Healthcare.

There is also an occupational therapy kitchen where individuals recovering from strokes can make brownies or do dishes.

The new additions at Eagle also include a “cafe lounge” with bookcases, a fireless flame fireplace and art prints featuring scenes of wildlife, oceans and mountains.

“It has a cabin/hunting lodge feel,” McVay said.

A patio features views of downtown Camas and the Columbia River.

The rehabilitation wing is phase one of a $5 million remodeling and expansion project that will include three additional phases. The new addition is 10,126 square feet, while the original building is 31,108 square feet.

McVay previously managed a skilled nursing facility in the Ellensburg area for nearly seven years.

He said he moved to Camas to be part of the major renovation at Eagle Rehabilitation.

“The opportunity to participate in structuring a skilled nursing facility to meet the current and future needs of our changing demographics is a significant opportunity that I gratefully accepted,” he said.

Boles anticipates increasing the number of rehabilitation team staff members from three to 12 or more by the end of this year. That includes individuals with experience in the areas of physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech and language pathology.

Overall, McVay expects to hire 36 additional staff members during the next four to six months. They include nurse managers, registered nurses, nursing assistants, dietary, laundry and housekeeping employees and an additional social worker and activities assistant. There are currently 74 employees.

Diane Backstrom is the new director of nursing services at Eagle Rehabilitation At Camas, which is managed by Eagle Healthcare, Inc., and owned by AVIV Capital. Backstrom oversees the resident care managers, nurses and nursing assistants.

The future phases of remodeling will include the elimination of all three-person long term care bedrooms. They will be converted to rooms for one or two persons each.

“When all construction is complete, there will be a focus upon creating a more homelike environment,” McVay said.

The renovation of the long term care unit will also include remodeling the dining rooms. Highland Terrace was built in 1970.

Exxel Pacific, of Bellingham, Wash., is the general contractor for the remodeling and additions project.

Due to the construction activity, there are currently 50 residents at Eagle Rehabilitation. The facility is licensed by the state for 83.