Design Decisions: Atrium Post Acute Care

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The single-story building is built on a former golf course in New Jersey. Its highlights include environmentally friendly features such as geothermal wall systems and solar panels. Residents also enjo
The single-story building is built on a former golf course in New Jersey. Its highlights include environmentally friendly features such as geothermal wall systems and solar panels. Residents also enjo

A property that once hosted the golfing set is now a center of rehabilitation for the post-acute care crowd.

Atrium Post Acute Care of Woodbury, NJ, stands on a 50-acre parcel that used to be a golf course and social club for this community in the southwestern region of the state.

Opened in April 2016, the $25 million complex is surrounded by the links that, while no longer operational for golf, provide an idyllic landscape for post-surgical patients to recover. The picturesque views are part of an environment that co-CEO William Burris says is conducive to healing for the 124 post-acute care residents who are discharged from hospitals in the region for short-term post-surgical stints. In fact, the 83,000-square-foot community is focused predominantly on post-acute care, offering patients private rooms, and access to a wide range of therapies with plenty of ambience for comfort and relaxation, Burris says.

“We created an atmosphere that combines home and hospital for a comfortable feel,” Burris says. 

Even with its large capacity, the post-acute care center is “nearly always full,” he says. The main building features a pub, bistro and movie theater for patients to enjoy during their short-term stays, which average 18 days.

Sensing a need in the community, Burris secured the property from foreclosure in 2013. Working with Florida architect Roland Borglund, they redesigned the entire campus and built a post-acute care center that combines the functional and aesthetic. The single-story building has two residential wings of 62 private rooms with a matrix layout that cuts down on travel distances for mobility-challenged post-acute care patients.

“There are a lot of innovative aspects of this center,” Borglund says. “It provides everything post-acute care patients could want.”

The private rooms, which Burris calls “the ultimate patient space,” have pullout couches so family members can stay overnight. The 6-foot-by-6-foot windows in each room offer unobstructed views, while special tinting keeps cold out and heat inside. LED lighting with dimmer switches allows patients to adjust the room lighting to their own preference.

In fact, the center utilizes environmentally friendly solar panels on the roof as well as geothermal well systems for an underground heat exchange, eliminating the need for a central heating system, Burris says.

The centerpiece of the rehabilitation program is the HydroWorx underwater treadmill, which Burris  calls “the future of rehabilitation.”

Although the original country club was demolished to build the new center, all the memorabilia, such as trophies and artwork, was saved and put on display to preserve the club's legacy.