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September 2, 2008



At 25 years old, long-term acute care is a young specialty. (In a field associated with Hippocrates, 25 qualifies as youthful.) So we thought we should see one of the region's leading examples of it: Specialty Hospital of Washington, just north of Eastern Market, where we picked up some fruit to nosh on the way to meeting CEO Susan Bailey and CMO Manisha Singal.


Must be hard to for Susan and Manisha to get work done if they greet everyone at the door. The 60-bed facility was established in 1995 and purchased by Specialty Hospitals of America in 2005. It treats patients an average of 25-35 days after leaving the hospital, ranging from those not ready for rehab to ones on life support. In the process, it frees up beds in short term care facilities (eg, traditional hospitals). The model is so much in demand Susan tells us SHW will add a 50-bed satellite unit in United Medical Center by the end of 2008.


Manisha says SHW is particularly adept at treating patients who rely on ventilators. Last year, they became the first hospital in the Eastern US to commercially acquire a Transtracheal Augmented Ventilation (TTAV) device. Using TTAV, 50% of patients once deemed as forever in need of support were able to breathe on their own. (Shouldn't that qualify them for sainthood?) Other specialties include treating patients with multi-organ needs and patients with surgical wounds that need extended time to heal. Hospitals often discharge patients to homes or nursing homes that lack the technology or medical capacity to monitor severe wounds. SHW aims to be that "relief valve" in between the two facilities.


To answer your first question, yes Dr. Singal is single. (She gets asked that a lot; evidently there are plenty of others with our lame sense of humor.) As for your second question, no, you can't have her number. But we can tell you that she's a Steelers fan, so if you show up at SHW with a Ben Roethlisberger jersey, a diaphragmatic pacemaker (another device SHW uses to liberate patients from breathing machines), and a frame for that oil painting, which Manisha drew, you might have a shot. As for Susan, she took over the helm at SHW two years ago after a stint at Kindred Healthcare in San Diego. We assume flowers would be fine for her.

Curtis Raye writes our medical stories. You should tell him all the neat things your medical organization is up to. He might stop by and check it out. curtis@bisnow.com

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