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Opening of Medical Resort at Fiesta Park Creates 100 Jobs

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Close to 100 jobs have been created in Albuquerque with the opening of the 66,000-square-foot Medical Resort at Fiesta Park, which embodies a new trend of offering various rehabilitation services to inpatients in a resort-like setting.

“Health care is really changing and we now focus on what’s important to the patient,” said state Health Secretary Catherine Torres, who spoke at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday. “What is important to the patient is to feel welcome.”

The welcome at the Medical Resort begins with concierge service and extends through spa treatments, a coffee bistro and Internet lounge, theater with weekly feature movies, and dining options including room service. The 66 patient rooms have private bathrooms with showers and touchscreen computers.

The rehab facility had a soft opening in mid-July and has thus far served about 23 patients, said Jerry Williamson, partner with Horace Winchester in Albuquerque-based WW Healthcare. The upscale ambience of the place has been a draw for families and friends of patients.

“About half of the meals we’ve served have been to families and their guests,” Williamson said.

Located behind the four-story Horizon building on Alameda, Medical Resort at 8820 Horizon NE is the result of an extensive $9.3 million renovation of what was once Nazareth Psychiatric Hospital, perhaps best known for its treatment of substance abuse, which closed in 1987.

“Rumor has it Bob Dylan was here,” Winchester said in his public remarks. “We have someone researching that.”

The facility later became a center for the treatment of Alzheimer’s, which closed in 2008. It sat vacant until the renovation in a joint venture by WW Healthcare and local Cauwels & Stuve Realty and Development.

The renovation alone provided about 75 construction jobs, said Dave Doyle, a state representative and president of Enterprise Builders, the project contractor.

Most of the patients will be placed there through discharge plans from hospitals and other health-care providers after surgery or illness. Revenue will come primarily from insurance plans and Medicare.

WW Healthcare also owns and operates Princeton Place Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, a 369-bed nursing home at 500 Louisiana NE. Dennis Ward is the CEO of the Medical Resort operation.
— This article appeared on page B1 of the Albuquerque Journal

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