Officials from Mount Carmel Health System and HealthSouth broke ground last week on a new 60,000-square-foot inpatient rehabilitation hospital on Westerville's Medical Mile.

Officials from Mount Carmel Health System and HealthSouth broke ground last week on a new 60,000-square-foot inpatient rehabilitation hospital on Westerville's Medical Mile.

The groundbreaking and ground- blessing ceremony Thursday, April 7, for the Mount Carmel Rehabilitation Hospital at 597 Executive Campus Drive marked the beginning of a construction project that will ultimately see the hospital open in the first quarter of 2017.

The facility will have 60 private rooms and a "state-of-the-art" gym and will specialize in treating patients who have suffered a stroke, trauma, brain and orthopedic injuries and other major illnesses or injuries.

Mount Carmel West President Sean McKibben said the partnership with HealthSouth will offer a "unique, intensive, people-centered approach to rehabilitation."

"Our partnership with HealthSouth will be enhancing and expanding our rehabilitation services to better meet the needs of central Ohio," he said. "The new Mount Carmel Rehabilitation Hospital ... is part of Mount Carmel's vision of transforming healthcare in our region. This means focusing on new ways to provide communities we serve with exceptional, people-focused care when and where they need it."

Congressman Pat Tiberi, who was also in attendance at the groundbreaking, said the hospital will be an important resource for area seniors.

"As we become a little older -- baby boomers in particular -- more and more people we know are going to need a place like this that's being built," Tiberi said. "We have 10,000 people a day turning 65 and signing up for Medicare. It's an astonishing number.

"With that comes illnesses. The good news is people are living longer. The bad news is that as people are living longer ... places like this are so important."

HealthSouth President and CEO Jay Grinney said the strategy for the Birmingham, Ala.-based company is to partner with organizations such as Mount Carmel to provide care throughout the country.

"Over two-thirds of Medicare enrollees have some kind of chronic condition," he said. "Many of those individuals will ultimately need rehabilitation care. It is our mission at HealthSouth to be the provider of choice to provide that care when that need arises."

And for Mount Carmel, the facility should cover an underserved portion of central Ohio.

"This collaboration will more than double our capacity to provide inpatient rehabilitation services and do so in a more appropriate and efficient setting of care," McKibben said.

The facility is expected to bring about 100 full-time jobs to Westerville.