Updated: 8:56 a.m. Tuesday, June 3, 2014 | Posted: 12:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 3, 2014

$12M medical facility planned for Hamilton on Main Street


$12M medical facility planned for Hamilton on Main Street photo
Pending final approvals, Hamilton nonprofit Community First Solutions and its division Colonial has $12 million plans to build a new rehabilitation center off Main Street to open in 2017. Pictured are renderings of the building’s proposed layout. CONTRIBUTED
$12M medical facility planned for Hamilton on Main Street photo
Hamilton nonprofit Community First Solutions has early plans to build an approximately $12 million rehabilitation center. If everything moves forward as planned, construction could start in 2015. Pictured is a rendering of the proposed entrance, which would face Main Street. CONTRIBUTED
$12M medical facility planned for Hamilton on Main Street photo
Linda Scott
There are $12 million plans to build a new 42-bed medical facility in Hamilton where Main Street and Stahlheber Road intersect.

By Chelsey Levingston

Staff Writer


There are $12 million plans to build a new 42-bed medical facility in Hamilton where Main Street and Stahlheber Road intersect. The proposed investment would provide a visible boost along a busy city corridor once it opens in 2017.

Nonprofit Community First Solutions, whose divisions provide various health and wellness services, has purchased the necessary inpatient bed licenses to open a rehabilitation center at the Hamilton site, said Jeff Thurman, president and chief executive officer of Community First. The property was purchased in 2012 and a former hhgregg building there has been demolished.

But before construction can start on the one-story, 42,000-square-foot health center, Community First must still obtain a Certificate of Need from Ohio Department of Health. The project, still in the planning stages, is not a done deal.

If all approvals are reached, the new center would offer post-surgery rehabilitation care in a resort-style setting, said Marcia Koenig, president of Colonial, a division of Community First providing senior living, home care and other health services.

Overnight and same-day services will be offered for knee, hip and other surgery patients discharged from the hospital, but not yet ready to go home. The average inpatient stay is expected to be three weeks.

Plans are to feature modern amenities and technologies such as all-private rooms, restaurant-style dining and a café, and high-speed Internet access.

Colonial already offers rehabilitation and therapy services for older adults at its Berkeley Square and Westover senior living communities. The new center will be a third, off-campus location intended for a growing population of “younger older adults” ages 50 to 70 who might prefer staying in a hotel-like setting versus a nursing home setting, Koenig said.

These younger older adults “want to go somewhere where they feel like they’re at a resort. They’re pampered. They’re taken care of. There’s technology. They have their own private room,” Koenig said.

“Our biggest competitor for that market or those people to do rehab is they want to go home,” she said. “We want to appeal to those people to have them want to come to us instead of going home.”

If built, Colonial will add a new hydro therapy at the center not presently offered at Berkeley Square or Westover, and open an in-ground swimming pool equipped with a platform for lowering patients into the water and monitoring their movements.

Additionally, opening a third rehabilitation center will free space at the existing Berkeley Square and Westover sites to convert remaining semi-private patient rooms to more private rooms.

The proposed rehabilitation center is Community First’s single-largest construction project in more than 20 years, Thurman said. It will meet the need of a growing baby boomer population, more of which are getting hip, knee and shoulder surgeries before they turn 65, Thurman said.

“That age group wants to be able to live a higher quality of life for a much longer period of time,” he said.

Community First Solutions, which has grown to be Hamilton’s second-largest private employer of over 650 workers, is the parent holding company of these nonprofit organizations: Colonial, which provides senior retirement living, assisted living, home care, wellness centers, short-term stay rehabilitation and outpatient therapy services; Partners in Prime, which delivers Meals on Wheels and operates senior centers in Hamilton, Fairfield and West Chester Twp.; Community Behavioral Health Inc., which provides mental health, chemical dependency and case management services; and Community First Pharmacy.

Services provided by Community First affect more than 45,000 people of all ages in Butler, Hamilton, Montgomery and Warren counties on an annual budget of $43.5 million.

Colonial now admits about 600 patients a year for rehabilitation services at its Berkeley Square campus off Berkeley Drive, and Westover campus off Stahlheber Road.

Community First’s latest plans include the new Main Street rehabilitation center. Meanwhile, the fast-growing nonprofit has also proposed moving its headquarters office from Eaton Avenue next to Fort Hamilton Hospital to downtown in the former Ringel’s Furniture building. Ringel Realty LLC donated the building, at 223 S. Third St., to Community First in November 2012, according to property records.


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