SALT LAKE CITY – The University of Utah unveiled its state-of-the-art Craig H. Neilsen Rehabilitation Hospital on Monday. The hospital has been open to patients for a year, but has not been released to date due to COVID-19 restrictions and safety measures.
“We’ve really built this facility to transform care here on the West Mountain and beyond for people recovering from traumatic injuries and other disabling conditions,” said Dr. David Steinberg, the hospital’s executive medical director. , during a press conference on Monday.
The new 172,000-square-foot hospital features the latest innovations and technology in rehab medicine.
“We have smart hospital rooms that have never been, [with] That kind of technology is used, “Steinberg said.” We have innovations in areas like our digital innovation lab and assistive technology lab, and our spaces on the ground floor where we actually manufacture some Trails adaptive sports equipment. ”
Steinberg said some of the hospital’s technologies are unique in Utah and the world.
“We have an augmented reality treadmill called C-mill. The only one in the state of Utah,” he said. “And the therapy gyms are amazing. We have the longest Zero G track in the world for doing bodyweight therapies.”
The hospital’s digital innovation lab allows patients to use virtual reality and augmented reality technologies to aid their recovery.
Monday was the one-year anniversary since the hospital opened its doors. It had not been presented to the public to help minimize the risk of coronavirus exposure for hospital staff and patients.
“Our first patients were admitted in May 2020,” Steinberg said. “Opening a facility in the midst of the COVID pandemic has been quite a challenge, but it has been a real honor to welcome patients like Sarah and her family.”
Sarah Frei, a former hospital patient, has inspired people around the world as she works to recover from a devastating car wreck in 2020 caused by a drunk driver. Frei is now paraplegic and double amputated.
“I loved it here at this rehab center,” he said. “I felt so open and I felt so comfortable and all the physiotherapists and occupational therapists that everyone was so nice.”
Frei spent about a month in hospital after the wreck.
“Even though my body has changed so much and after the accident, I can do fun things,” he said. “This rehab center is kind of where it all started and where I discovered it.”
Steinberg said the hospital is a great benefit not only to Utah, but to Intermountain West as a whole.
“This allows us to bring technologies and care to patients who would otherwise have to travel very far from the state to get this type of treatment,” he added.