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Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center Celebrates Renovation and Reopening of Patient Apartment

Posted on May 2, 2019 in Uncategorized

Unique setting helps patients prepare for transition from rehab center to home

From left: Leslie Irwin, administrator, Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center; Mary Dillon, MD, medical director, PNRC; Colt Davis, president, Clayton Supply; Amber Krupacs, chief financial officer, Clayton; Jim VanderSteeg, president and CEO, Covenant Health; Keith Altshuler, president and chief administrative officer, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center; Mike Belbeck, executive vice president, operations, Covenant Health

apartment bedroom apartment kitchen apartment living room(Knoxville) – Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center is pleased to announce the grand reopening of its patient apartment, newly renovated through the generosity of Clayton and Fort Sanders Foundation.

The only one of its kind in the area, the apartment provides a unique opportunity for patients to practice the skills they will need to care for themselves at home after they are discharged from inpatient rehabilitation. It is located at PNRC within Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center and has been in use since the rehabilitation center opened in 1978.

The apartment’s kitchen, bedroom and living areas were fully accessible, but the last renovation was more than 20 years ago.  The new renovation features a more contemporary look and design with adaptable features such as easy-turn faucets, drop-down kitchen cabinetry and grab bars.

PNRC medical director Mary Dillon, MD, calls the renovation “an incredible gift.”

“Clayton has helped us build a home within Patricia Neal to help our patients get back to their homes,” said Dr. Dillon. “We have been very blessed, not only by the materials Clayton gave us and the products that were installed, but also by their generosity of time and talents in building such a beautiful environment for our patients.”

While at the apartment, patients who are recovering from the effects of a serious stroke or injury learn how to cook, clean and live with their “new normal.” Patients stay in the apartment for an average 1-2 nights.

“Covenant Health puts the patient first – that’s one of their pledges,” said Amber Krupacs, Clayton chief financial officer. “At Clayton, it’s ‘make the world a better place.’ It really was a perfect partnership for us and it proved to be a very rewarding project for our team.”

Jim VanderSteeg, Covenant Health president and CEO, noted that PNRC plays a vital role in Covenant Health’s stroke hospital network, offering specialized therapies for patients who need rehabilitation after stroke. “Over and over again, I hear stories of the excellent and compassionate care patients have received at Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center,” he said. “I am most appreciative of Clayton and Fort Sanders Foundation for their support of this project and our patients.”

The renovation and reopening were celebrated with a reception at the rehabilitation center on May 1.

About Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center

Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, a member of Knoxville-based Covenant Health, is a 541-bed regional referral center for neurology, neurosurgery, orthopedics, oncology, cardiology, obstetrics and rehabilitation medicine. For more information, visit

Located within Fort Sanders Regional, the world-renowned Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center specializes in the treatment of traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, stroke and other debilitating conditions. For more information, visit