LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The valley’s first of its kind rehabilitation hospital is days closer to opening at the Dignity Health Sienna Campus near St. Rose and Eastern. The hospital will help its patients re-learn day-to-day functions like walking, eating, and dressing after suffering from traumatic injuries.
Opening the rehab facility means patients will finally have the resources they need without having to travel to get to them. It’s a struggle that one of the people behind the hospital knows firsthand.
Stacie Wichman-Roch, the director of business development, gave 8 News NOW a tour of the facility. The center boasts unique technology, 60-beds, and private rooms. It’s all designed to help patients recovering from things like strokes, amputations, and traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries.
“Try to think of every little thing that would affect someone’s experience,” Wichman-Roch said.
An experience Wichman-Roch knows well because she went through it with her husband.
“He is a paraplegic in a wheelchair,” Wichman-Roch said speaking about her husband.
Their lives changed on Dec. 23, 2000, when her husband, Jeff, who then was a motorcycle officer with the Metro Police, was on his way to work.
“We said goodbye to him. I was putting our son down for a nap, and about a half hour later I got a call that as he was heading into a briefing, he was hit by a woman who didn’t stop at a stop sign,” Wichman-Roch said. “All those things that we take for granted, that we do every day had to be relearned.
Almost two decades later, Wichman-Roch continues to advocate not just for her husband, but for anyone with similar injuries.
“We aren’t going to just discharge them and hope they do well,” Wichman-Roch said.
Her first goal: Create an attainable rehab center.
“Typically patients that have traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injury are recommended that they go out of state,” Wichman-Roch said.
Her next goal was to establish the support system she wishes her husband had.
“We’re gonna create a community for them,” Wichman-Roch said.
And with the new rehabilitation hospital, those goals are now a reality.
Darlene Melendez, Reporter: “Do you think you would’ve believed back then that you would be here at this hospital?
Stacie Wichman-Roch: “Not at all. Not at all.”
The rehabilitation hospital at Dignity Health is expected to be open and ready for patients by the beginning of May. It will offer around the clock service.