West Orange Healthcare District and Orlando Health join forces to improve healthcare in West Orange County

$100 million project to expand Health Central Hospital campus, bring services to Horizon West

Ocoee, FL (March 22, 2016) – The West Orange Healthcare District (the District) and Orlando Health have joined forces to improve and expand healthcare services for West Orange County residents. The $100 million project, $75 million of which is funded by the District, will help transform Health Central Hospital’s current Ocoee location into a destination medical campus and will bring much needed healthcare services to Horizon West.

“We are extremely pleased and thankful for the District’s support and collaboration on this project.” said David Strong, President and CEO, Orlando Health. “West Orange County residents will soon be able to access more world-class healthcare services in their communities, close to home.”

“We are honored to contribute to and be a part of this project,” said District Board Chairman Tim Keating. “The Board considers this effort an investment in the healthy future of our community, which supports the District’s mission to enhance health and wellness in West Orange County.”

Additions to the Ocoee campus include a 30,000-square foot comprehensive cancer center with expanded clinical programs and services for family, supportive and holistic care.

“Evidence proves that patients suffering from cancer have better results when they are treated closer to home,” said Mark Roh MD, president, UF Health Cancer Center – Orlando Health. “Each year, more than 1,200 residents living near Health Central are diagnosed with cancer. The current facility, which opened in 2012, reached its expected five-year capacity in its second year. So this new facility is greatly needed.”

A new 100-bed skilled nursing facility will also be coming to the Ocoee campus. The facility will consist of a 60-bed rehabilitation unit and a 40-bed Alzheimer’s unit.

“One in three people over the age of 85 has Alzheimer’s,” said Lori Jowett, administrator of Health Central Park, which is the hospital’s existing skilled nursing facility. “The new facility will provide national resources for compassionate Alzheimer’s care and family support in an attractive and secure setting.”

At the Horizons West location, construction will begin later this fall on a 70,000-square foot building that will feature a freestanding emergency department, outpatient diagnostics and laboratory services, offices for primary care physicians and specialists, and a human performance and wellness center. “This facility will combine high-tech with high-touch to provide patients with the most advanced medical care available,” said Greg Ohe, Senior Vice President of Ambulatory for Orlando Health. “Through telemedicine technology, Horizon West residents will have access to additional pediatric and adult specialists who may be located on any of our other campuses.”

Construction on the Ocoee facilities is slated to begin later this year and is expected to be complete by the end of 2018. Construction on the Horizon West project will begin later this fall and is slated for completion by the end of 2017. The combination of both construction sites will generate more than 500 construction jobs. Once fully operational, the facilities will create more than 200 new permanent healthcare jobs and attract other high-caliber healthcare businesses to the area.

The collaboration between the District and Orlando Health also includes the introduction of more immediate programs and initiatives to improve the community’s health. One joint effort, called “Healthy West Orange” includes The Observer Media Group as a third partner. By fostering a culture of health and wellness with a focus on health status, nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle choices the community culture will be transformed to one that enables and supports health maintenance and improvement. The District believes such investments not only align with their mission but also position west Orange County to meet the ultimate goal of becoming the healthiest community in the nation.

About The West Orange Health Care District

The WOHD is an independent special healthcare district created by an Act of the 1949 Florida Legislature and is governed by a 16 member Board appointed by the Governor of Florida. From its beginning, the purpose of the District has been to improve access to healthcare services for residents of West Orange County. This has been achieved through investing significantly in Health Central Hospital, the largest provider of healthcare services in west Orange County, and awarding over $2 million in initiative grants since 2012 to non-profits in the community supporting programs that align with the District’s mission. For more information about the West Orange Healthcare District please visit http://www.wohd1949.org or call the District office at 407.296.1861.

About Orlando Health

Orlando Health is a $2.3 billion not-for-profit health care organization and a community-based network of physician practices, hospitals, and outpatient care centers throughout Central Florida. The organization is home to the area’s only Level One Trauma Centers for adults and pediatrics and is a statutory teaching hospital system that offers both specialty and community hospitals. More than 2,000 physicians have privileges at Orlando Health, which is also one of the area’s largest employers with more than 15,000 employees who serve nearly 2 million Central Florida residents and more than 4,500 international patients annually. Additionally, Orlando Health provides nearly $235 million in support of community health needs. More information can be found at Orlando Health.

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Media Contacts:

West Orange Healthcare District
Tracy Swanson, Executive Director
Office: 407.296.1811
Orlando Health / Health Central Hospital
Desmond Jordon
Cell: 321.279.0417

March 22, 2016