The Care and Compassion Behind Levindale's High-Intensity Care Unit (HICU)


·   "We have the combined expertise to handle just about any respiratory challenge, and the patients get everything they need in their recovery," says Judith Benner, respiratory services manager at Levindale Hospital. "Our goal is to get patients off the ventilator or trach tube."  

Levindale's specialty hospital, or High-Intensity Care Unit (HICU), provides 24/7 respiratory care, diagnostics, medical treatment and rehabilitation services to patients experiencing chronic disease or complex medical conditions. When patients in an acute care setting, such as an intensive care unit, require an extended stay and multidisciplinary treatment, they can transition to this unit for care.  

This specialty hospital has 120 beds, and treats patients diagnosed with chronic or complex conditions such as kidney disease, congestive heart failure, stroke, trauma, and acute respiratory failure. COVID-19, severe illness, neurologic challenges, and post-surgical complications can also be treated here, as those conditions may cause respiratory failure, making it hard for patients to breathe without a ventilator or tracheostomy (a surgical incision into the trachea which opens an airway). 

Levindale stands apart from other facilities because it has a dedicated team that includes respiratory therapists, nurses certified in advanced cardiac life support, speech and occupational therapists, psychiatrists, social workers and onsite dieticians. In addition, Levindale's doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants specialize in a variety of areas including pulmonology, infectious disease, nephrology, cardiology, internal medicine, wound care, and otolaryngology. 

Levindale provides a full spectrum of healing. Additional medical services offered here include: 


Brain Health Unit. Utilizing a multidisciplinary team approach to stabilize and treat geriatric patients who have cognitive disorders (including dementia), and other conditions. Patients on this unit are treated by a psychiatrist, participate in our rehab program when clinically appropriate, and engage in specialized recreational activities.  

Acute Rehab. A rehabilitation center dedicated to patients who can withstand 3 hours of therapy daily in a hospital setting. This unit focuses on brain injury and stroke and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and The Joint Commission (TJC).  

Subacute Rehab. Providing short-term rehabilitation and skilled nursing services that help restore a patient's functionality after a hospitalization. 

Post-Acute Outpatient Services. Developing individualized care plans and rehabilitation services that help patients improve mentally and physically. Patients have access to adult day services, outpatient rehab, an outpatient mental health clinic, and the Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP). PHP is a short-term psychiatric program for seniors experiencing behavioral health symptoms, putting them at risk for inpatient hospitalization. The program now offers telehealth services. 

"Having that continuum of care can be invaluable in a patient's outcomes and a family's peace of mind," Benner expresses. "Our team is very special in that they understand how to care for patients and families who have already been through so much." 

Looking for more information on the services offered at Levindale? Check out these testimonials from patients who successfully returned home after experiencing Levindale's care, compassion and medical expertise:  

Edna's Success Story 
Green's Success Story 
Robin Success Story

You can also discover more about how patients recover from complex illnesses and the services offered by visiting