The construction dust has finally settledat Meadowbrook Rehabilitation Hospital in Gardner with completion of the Acute Rehabilitation Unit.

The new addition will officially be dedicated with a grand opening, open house and public tours, and ribbon-cutting event from 2 to 6 p.m. Thursday, May 19, at the hospital located at 427 West Main Street. The program will include a celebration and recognition of Gardner’s beloved hometown doctor –Dr. Adelbert S. Reece.

The featured speakers will include Johnson County Commissioner Calvin Hayden, De Soto, who represents the Sixth District that includes Gardner and western Johnson County.

Hayden knows firsthand about Dr. Reece. He was among 2,247 babies delivered by the doctor during his 47-year medical career.

“He was a great man who exemplified a small town doctor,” Hayden said. “He loved doctoring, and he loved people. He was a gentle gentleman, a one of a kind, a humanitarian dedicated to medical service to his community.”

Dr. Reece began practicing medicine in Gardner in 1930, retired in 1977, and died in 1980 at age 78. He opened the oldest hospital in Johnson County in 1934 in downtown Gardner at the corner of Elm and Shawnee streets.

Gardner Community Medical Center, then known as Reece Hospital, opened in 1961 at its West Main location. Research Health Service of Kansas City bought the medical center in 1981. Meadowbrook, a rehabilitation hospital with emphasis on neurological (head) injuries, opened in 1987.

Construction of the Acute Rehabilitation Unit began in May of 2010 by Merit General Contractors in Olathe. The project added  22 private state-of-the-art, acute rehabilitation rooms to the 78-bed hospital along with a therapy gym, an activity room, a dining room, anda patient lounge.

Meadowbrook Rehabilitation Hospital, which is accredited by the Commission Accrediting Rehabilitation Facilities, provides acute rehabilitation, traumatic brain injury rehabilitation, skilled nursing rehabilitation, and outpatient rehabilitation programs. It is currently the only rehabilitation provider in the state of Kansas recognized as a provider of traumatic brain injury treatment for the Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services.Prior to the expansion, there was a waiting list for the hospital’s Traumatic Brain Injury program.

The expansion implemented AccuNurse, an on-demand care delivery systemthat will streamline many elements of its operations by using wireless headsets to enable easy communication between departments. The system will allow nurses and therapists to dictate patient information directly into their charts using voice-recognition software.

The project also was designed to allow Meadowbrook to meet increased demands for rehabilitation services, now and in the future. The expansion is expected to create between 25 and 30 new local jobs, including those for RNs, LPNs, CNAs, and therapists.