NEWS | July 1, 2021

UC Davis Health breaks ground on new rehabilitation hospital (video)

Expands treatment capacity for stroke, brain trauma, spinal cord injury patients


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(SACRAMENTO) — UC Davis Health, in partnership with Kindred Healthcare, today broke ground on a planned rehabilitation hospital on its Sacramento campus. The project is the first free-standing physical rehabilitation hospital in Sacramento. 

“UC Davis continues to bring new investments and nationally known business partners to the Sacramento area,” said UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May.  “Projects like this show who we are and what we do for the community.  Since its creation, the University of California has been a major economic engine for the state, and here in Sacramento, UC Davis is doing the same.  We’re investing heavily in our Sacramento Campus, and this is just one of four major projects underway here – each one focused on improving the quality of life for people in the Sacramento area.  These are all part of our commitment to be an Anchor Institution for our surrounding communities and a regional health care resource for all of Northern California.” 


Leaders from UC Davis and Kindred Healthcare break ground on the new UC Davis Rehabilitation Hospital

“This new facility will complement UC Davis Health’s nation-leading survival statistics at our Level 1 regional trauma center, and the life-saving work of our comprehensive stroke center,” said UC Davis Health CEO David Lubarsky.  “There is currently no such dedicated facility in Sacramento.  This new hospital will take us from ‘just saving lives’ to fully maximizing a patient’s recovery after major surgeries and life-threatening events.  Here, we will focus on helping every single patient reach their greatest possible level of function and future enjoyment of life through their physical rehabilitation after injury.” 

UC Davis Health is partnering on the project with Kindred Healthcare, an experienced post-acute care provider, to operate the new inpatient rehabilitation facility. Kindred operates 28 similar rehabilitation hospitals around the nation – many of them award-winning and recognized for their high quality of care. The new UC Davis hospital is expected to open for its first patients in 2023. 

“This new hospital will take us from ‘just saving lives’ to fully maximizing a patient’s recovery after major surgeries and life-threatening events. 

— UC Davis Health CEO David Lubarsky

The hospital is located at the corner of Broadway and 49th Street in Sacramento. It will cost $60 million to build. Kindred will develop the project, which is expected to create up to 200 new health care jobs, as well as hundreds of prevailing wage construction jobs. It will enable rehabilitation care for twice as many patients as currently can be treated for conditions resulting from stroke, brain trauma and spinal cord injuries at UC Davis Medical Center. 

(left to right) Kindred President Jason Zachariah, UC Regent Richard Leib, UC Davis Health CEO David Lubarsky and UC Davis Chancellor Gay S. May during the groundbreaking ceremony July 1.

California’s seismic safety law prompted UC Davis Health to develop a new hospital facility for individuals needing in-patient rehabilitation services. The health system’s rehabilitation services are now in several medical center locations scheduled for eventual demolition.  UC Davis Health has been trying to address the need for a rehabilitation hospital for nearly 30 years. 

“This new hospital represents a big step forward in being able to meet the needs of more patients to help them to recover and heal from very challenging injuries and conditions,” said Brad Simmons, chief operating officer of UC Davis Health—Hospital Division. “Kindred Healthcare is a national leader in post-acute care services and we’re very pleased to have partnered with them.” 

“Projects like this show who we are and what we do for the community. Since its creation, the University of California has been a major economic engine for the state, and here in Sacramento, UC Davis is doing the same.”

— UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May

With 58,000 square feet of space, the hospital will have 52 patient beds. The new facilities will provide acute adult inpatient care, with the goal of helping people to be able to continue their care at home more quickly than otherwise would happen with a traditional hospital-to-home transition. 

Clinical services will include physical and occupational therapies and speech pathology services. Therapists, physicians and nurses will help patients regain physical function and mobility, and the independent capabilities to do everyday activities and work. 

Officials also expect the UC Davis Rehabilitation Hospital to become a location that offers new, currently unavailable, treatments to patients, as well as research opportunities for new treatments led by physician-researchers from the UC Davis School of Medicine. 


Rendering of the new building by Taylor Designs

“We look forward to opening this new hospital and partnering with UC Davis Health to address the growing need for inpatient rehabilitation services in the Sacramento area,” said Russ Bailey, President, Kindred Rehabilitation. “This is a quality-focused collaboration with a nationally recognized academic health care leader that will offer the community quality patient care focused on providing hope, healing and recovery.” 

“Physicians, nurses and therapists in physical rehabilitation will be to work shoulder-to-shoulder with UC Davis biomedical engineers and those from medical device companies,” added May. “That is how health care innovation happens. And we are thrilled to be part of that.”