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Region’s Only Long-Term Acute Care Facility Opens at Huntsville Hospital

May 2, 2024 | Reading Time: 2 minutes
North Alabama Specialty Hospital exterior photo

Huntsville Hospital’s always-evolving main campus has added another vital new service: the region’s only long-term acute care facility.

HH North Alabama Specialty Hospital (NASH) opened April 23 in the former Encompass Health building on Governors Drive.

A joint venture of HH Health and Priority Hospital Group, NASH serves patients who have been discharged from the hospital but are still recovering from significant illness or injury. Some are being weaned off ventilators; others have tracheostomies or serious wounds that require expert care.

The average length of stay at NASH is 25 days.

“Given the complexity of patients that we see, it makes sense for us to be on the Huntsville Hospital campus,” said Doug Beverly, NASH’s chief executive officer. “Our patients will certainly benefit from greater access to Huntsville Hospital’s excellent physician specialists.”

Previously located at Athens-Limestone Hospital, NASH is the only long-term acute care facility between Birmingham and Nashville. Because of the region’s rapid growth, state health officials approved an expansion from 31 patient beds to 47 beds as part of the move to Huntsville.

North Alabama Specialty Hospital ribbon cutting

Beverly said NASH employs about 75 people in Huntsville, including critical care nurses, certified nursing assistants, respiratory therapists, pharmacists and administrative staff.

The spacious former Encompass Health building is connected to Huntsville Hospital via the Governors Drive pedestrian bridge. It has been extensively renovated with all-private rooms, a new therapy gym and more.

Two physicians from Huntsville Hospital’s medical staff are part of the NASH leadership team. Critical care/trauma specialist Rony Najjar, MD, serves as the medical director; Parekha Yedla, MD, an associate professor of internal medicine at UAB’s Huntsville Regional Medical Campus, is chief medical officer.