Construction is under way on a new $3 million Acute Rehabilitation Center at Arroyo Grande Community Hospital. It will be the only center of its type between Salinas and Santa Barbara, according to hospital President Rick Castro.
Patients now must leave San Luis Obispo County if they need an extended hospital stay to improve mental and physical functioning after a life-changing event such as a stroke, brain injury, major surgery or serious accident.
Castro said the motivation for creating the center was to serve the unmet needs of San Luis Obispo County residents, adding that patients will benefit because “outcomes are dramatically improved when family members can participate in the recovery.”
The hospital is adding 5,700 square feet and converting the approximately 2,000 existing square feet of what was once its Transitional Care Unit, which closed in 2009, into the full service Acute Rehabilitation Center.
The rehab center will house 14 patient beds.
The hospital will no longer have a Transitional Care Unit, but Castro said that such services are available at other hospitals in the county. Employees of the closed unit were offered local jobs with Catholic Healthcare West, Arroyo Grande Community Hospital’s parent company.
The new center will employ an additional 15 to 20 medical personnel, including a new medical director: Richard Martin of Arroyo Grande.
Martin, who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation, previously ran an acute rehabilitation center in Northern California, Castro said.
The project is slated to be completed by May 1. The contractor is Alan Roinestad Construction and Management Inc., based out of Santa Maria. The facility is scheduled to open July 1.
— Julia Hickey
Paso chef gets his second nomination
Chef Chris Kobayashi of Artisan Restaurant in Paso Robles recently received his second nomination for a James Beard Foundation Award for best chef in the Pacific region, which includes California and Hawaii.
His previous nod was in 2009. This year he is one of 20 semifinalists in the category, which recognizes those “chefs who have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions,” according to the foundation’s website.
The foundation recognizes achievements throughout the industry.
Finalists will be announced later this month. The winners will be revealed at the annual James Beard Foundation Awards dinner in May.
— Katy Budge