Local health care and rehab center expanding

August 30, 2011

Herald-Citizen - Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011

COOKEVILLE -- A project years in the making is finally underway at the Bethesda Health Care Center.

The center recently celebrated the groundbreaking for its new outpatient addition with state Rep. Ryan Williams, Cookeville Mayor Matt Swallows, ambassador members of the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce and J&S Construction Company in attendance.

"It's kind of come to the point where we built up this program here so well that the community knows us as an in-patient and now an outpatient facility," Lee Rooney, Bethesda Health Care Center administrator, said.

With the new addition, the center will not be adding beds or bed-space but will instead focus on meeting the needs of its out-patient clients by allowing for more training equipment to be moved in.

Bethesda's current physical therapy space lacks the appropriate storage for all training equipment and can only house a limited number of patients at one time.

The 2,000-plus square foot addition will include adequate space for parallel bars, weight lifting equipment, as well as additional office space and storage.

"We're just excited about it," Rooney said. "We're hoping to be in probably sometime in December."

Bethesda Health Care Center is managed by the Tennessee Health Management Inc. of Parsons, which also manages Cookeville Manor and at least 30 other Tennessee nursing homes.

The 120-bed care facility offers an Alzheimer's unit and an assortment of rehabilitation services.

Residents receive 24-hour nursing care, meals, housekeeping services, laundry and linen services, access to standard equipment, social services and an array of activities.

Beauty shop and barbershop services are even available to live-in patients.

While the center is known for caring for seniors, it also expands therapy services to younger patients as well by offering physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

"It's kind of a continual-care; we're able to meet all (of) their needs," Lee said.

J&S Construction Company will be constructing the addition.

"When my mother-in-law was in poor health, Bethesda did a wonderful job working with her and our family to make the experience a pleasurable one," said J&S Construction CEO Johnny Stites. "I am glad we have the opportunity to give back to an organization that has taken such great care of our community."

Bethesda is located at 444 One Eleven Place near the Putnam County Board of Education office.

To view photo gallery of ceremony, please click here.

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