Ocoee, FL (July 7, 2016) – As West Orange county continues to grow, so does the need for access to high quality healthcare. The West Orange Healthcare District (the District) and Orlando Health are working together to improve and expand healthcare services for the residents of West Orange County.
This month, Health Central Hospital opens the first phase of a newly constructed emergency department and begins the renovation of the current emergency department space. “The newly constructed wing of our emergency department allows us to continue to provide high quality emergency care to every patient that walks through our doors, even as our emergency room expansion continues.” said Mark Marsh, President, Health Central Hospital. “Once the renovation is complete, the emergency department will have more than tripled in size from 15,000 sq. ft. to 54,000 sq. ft. and will have an additional 10 beds, for a total of 62 patient examination rooms.”
Also opening this month is a newly constructed patient bed tower that will add an additional 40 patient beds. The expanded emergency department and new bed tower are the result of a $13.8 million grant awarded by the District in 2014. The grant was the second largest in the history of the District and funded 75 percent of the total expansion costs. Orlando Health funded the remaining 25 percent. The expansion project increases Health Central Hospital’s bed count from 171 to 211 and enables the further development of specialized care.
The tower aligns with floors two through five of the current building and adds a 10-room unit to each floor. Twenty-two rooms will be used to enhance or develop the specialized care units at the hospital. Room additions on the second floor will be used for post cardiac and vascular catheterization patients and the continued expansion of technology in this area. The third floor will be home to a step-down unit for orthopedic/spine patients and an expanded spine program. The fourth floor is targeted for use as an oncology unit providing symptom management and supportive care for cancer patients. And the fifth floor will be used for pre and post general surgery patients with chronic conditions. The remaining 18 rooms eliminate the hospital’s semi-private rooms.
Completion of the 40-room expansion complements the hospital’s most recent expansion project that was announced in March 2016. 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 realizes our investment in the healthy future of our community not only supports the District’s mission to enhance health and wellness in West Orange County, but allows these services to come to our residents sooner.”
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.
“Each year, more than 1,200 residents living near Health Central are diagnosed with cancer,” said Mark Roh MD, president UF Health Cancer Center – Orlando Health. “Evidence proves that patients suffering from cancer have better results when they are treated closer to home. 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.
“This new facility will provide compassionate Alzheimer’s care and family support in an attractive and secure setting,” said Ron Milliner, administrator of Health Central Park, which is the hospital’s existing skilled nursing facility. “One in three people over the age of 85 has Alzheimer’s, so it’s important to us that we’re able to provide this specialized care here in our community.”
At the Horizon West location, construction will begin 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 have the capability to provide patients with the most advanced medical care available,” said Greg Ohe, Senior Vice President of Ambulatory for Orlando Health. “Utilizing 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 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 its 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 www.orlandohealth.com.
West Orange Healthcare District
Orlando Health / Health Central Hospital