The 65,000-square-foot facility will be constructed on the vacant lot next to the Lindy Boggs Medical Center on Bienville Avenue, Cobalt principal Erik de Vries said.
The center is designed to help patients recover from surgery or other treatments at an acute care hospital, de Vries said.
“These patients are not sick,” he said. “They’re broken.”
De Vries said patients will receive at least three hours of therapy each day. Patients would have private rooms and bathrooms, and shared living rooms, offering a “very warm, inviting, therapeutic environment”.
When choosing New Orleans, de Vries said the company noticed a “very high, unmet bed need in the city”. In addition to the facility in New Orleans, Cobalt has already broken ground on a 45-bed facility in Kansas City.
The average patient stay would be about two weeks, de Vries said, but patients in the traumatic brain injury unit for concussions or long-term conditions would stay longer.
The company hopes to cement themselves as a go-to facility for sports-injury recovery as well as service for veterans.
“We hope to establish working relationships with the National Football League and other teams to help rehabilitate their players as well as work with the Federal Government for those requiring rehabilitation services,” Cobalt’s CEO Richard Fiske wrote to Mid-City Messenger via email.
“The majority of our patients are stroke patients,” de Vries said.
The center will also treat those with pulmonary conditions or serve individuals recovering from hip or knee replacements.
The traumatic brain injury care unit will draw patients not only from New Orleans but around the region, de Vries said.
Fiske wrote that the center would establish relationships with local acute care providers, should any patients require such services.
He said the center will be a relatively quiet neighbor and employ about 175 people.
Though de Vries emphasized the company is still working with city planning, he said they will likely break ground in the first half of 2014 and aim to open in the first six months of 2015.
De Vries said Cobalt representatives will present more information and take questions at the Mid-City Neighborhood Organization meeting Monday night.
“This will be a facility the community will be proud of both on the interior and exterior,” Fiske wrote.