SARASOTA (Nov. 7, 2011) – Healthcare has come a long way from “take two aspirin and call me in the morning.” Things were simpler then, healthcare choices definitely more limited.
Today, the options in medical care are almost limitless – and enough to boggle the mind. That’s why Sarasota Memorial Health Care System took steps this month to make those decisions a little easier.
This month, the not-for-profit public health system opened Sarasota Memorial HealthSquare at the Westfield Sarasota Square. It’s a warm, welcoming space – located squarely in the middle of the shopping center – where visitors can stop by at their convenience, ask questions and get help sifting through the multiple options and medical services available in our community.
“Hospitals typically are not places where people want to go, and in fact, often avoid until they are facing a serious health concern,” said Sarasota Memorial CEO Gwen MacKenzie. “But we have found through our social networking and community outreach efforts that people want and need access to fast, reliable health information. HealthSquare is our way of interacting with people before they need us, in a way that’s easy and convenient for them, and at a time when they feel physically and emotionally ready to share their questions and concerns.”
Staffed by Sarasota Memorial trained facilitators, HealthSquare offers interactive touch screens where visitors can take advantage of free screenings and health risk assessments and learn the latest strategies to manage and prevent chronic disease. They also can find a physician, make an appointment, get directions to Sarasota Memorial physician offices and outpatient locations, and more. There's also a mini-stage, where physicians and expert speakers will host lectures and discussions.
The hospital has leased the retail space for one year, with options to renew in subsequent years, and plans to staff it year-round, seven days a week, during peak hours. HealthSquare was made possible through a grant from Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation, Inc.
"It is a privilege to continue to help Sarasota Memorial educate the people of our community and provide the information and support they need to protect their health and quality of life,” said Alex Quarles, president and CEO of Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation, Inc. “We are excited about the new location and greater access and public interaction the shopping center will provide to our citizens and visitors.”
About Sarasota Memorial Health Care System
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of inpatient, outpatient and extended care services, with more than 700,000 patient visits a year. One of the 10 largest public hospitals in America, Sarasota Memorial’s 806-bed acute care hospital has been recognized repeatedly as one of the nation’s largest, safest and best, with superior patient outcomes and a complete continuum of outpatient services– from urgent care walk-in clinics and physician groups, laboratory and diagnostic imaging centers, to home health and skilled nursing & rehabilitation. Sarasota Memorial is the only hospital in the Suncoast region (Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties) ever to make HealthGrades’ 50 best list for quality and safety. For information, visit: www.smh.com