Bent Philipson says, “[This] isn't your typical nursing home.”
Pathways Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, part of the Philosophy Care network of facilities, celebrated its 31st anniversary this year with construction crews wrapping up the facility's head-to-toe building renovations, which started back in the fall of 2017.
Bent Philipson, Pathways' owner and Philosophy Care’s Founder, and Jeff Ruso, Pathways' administrator, initiated these renovations to accommodate an underserved population of ventilator patients in the Capital Region. The 112-bed skilled nursing facility located in Niskayuna added an additional 16 adult certified ventilator beds to their building, bringing the total from eight to 24. In order to account for this increase, they renovated multiple office spaces and therapy rooms and transitioned all of their semi-private rooms into private rooms.
Since the facility no longer needs to consider roommate pairings, patients will benefit from even greater protections against the spread of infectious diseases. Additionally, an entire unit of private rooms dedicated to patients with ventilator needs allows Pathways to better service their community.
"You want to know where your mother or father is at all times," said Bent Philipson. "And now you can have peace of mind knowing they'll be in the same room for as long as they're in need of our services."
Families find these private rooms far more accommodating. They not only have more privacy when spending time with their loved ones, but bigger rooms can be equipped with more equipment without sacrificing space. Patients are also happy to have updated, modernized rooms that feature amenities like large flat-screen televisions.
Pathways also features 36 vent-capable beds in their pediatric unit, which received a cosmetic makeover as part of the project. The team of interior designers at Integra Construction, which Philipson and Ruso hired to complete these renovations, chose an aquatics theme, which makes children feel comfortable and at ease as soon as they walk through the doors.
It's rare for skilled nursing facilities to be dual-use, with pediatric and adult programs in the same building.
"I always tell families that Pathways isn't your father’s typical nursing home. This makes our facility more unique," said Philipson.
"We've all had to receive more specialized training in regards to care and we also employ a variety of skilled healthcare professionals due to the complexity of care we offer at our establishment,” Ruso added.
Under Bent Philipson and Jeff Ruso's leadership, Pathways Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center has become the most clinically complex nursing facility in Upstate New York.
"I have worked in a number of nursing facilities and for a multitude of owners, and I wouldn't trade this experience for the world," Ruso said. "We weren't in the best spot when Mr. Philipson bought Pathways initially, but our transformation has been an unsung story here with our patients, staff, and community, and it's really all thanks to him."
In addition to these renovations, Pathways also remodeled their traumatic brain injury unit, upgraded their common spaces, and expanded their oxygen capacity.
Before construction started, the facility already had two nursing units with piped-in oxygen in the wall, unheard of across most skilled nursing facilities. As part of the project, they added one more room to care for an increased number of patients who need specific oxygen needs but don't require the use of a ventilator. These rooms are also used to wean patients off ventilators.
Pathways will also be renovating its sister facility, Phoenix Center for Rehabilitation and Pediatrics, in the coming months. This center will follow a similar aquatic theme to Pathways' pediatric unit, and will include renovations like an expanded lobby, a playground, and new furniture. Pathways hopes to complete this project by the end of 2021.
Bent Philipson is eager for those renovations to be completed.
“I get excited every time we’re able to implement new programs or innovations,” he added. “It’s absolutely critical in order to offer the best quality of care to patients. And in this industry, that’s what it’s all about.”