VENICE, Fla. (April 5, 2019) – Sarasota Memorial Health Care System marked an important milestone Thursday, breaking ground on its new hospital and 65-acre medical campus in Venice. City officials, community leaders, the elected hospital board, SMH staff, area residents and the new hospital’s design/build team were on hand to celebrate the most significant expansion in the health system’s 94-year history.
“This is truly a landmark occasion,” Sarasota County Public Hospital Board Chairman Joseph DeVirgilio said during welcoming remarks. “The Hospital Board has had a longstanding goal of bringing Sarasota Memorial’s high level of care to the south county region. It’s been a long journey, but today is a major step forward in our efforts to ensure that our growing community has convenient access to our five-star medical services.”
The ceremony took place under a tent set up beside the partially cleared site where the new four-story, 365,000-square-foot hospital will be built on the corner of Laurel and Pinebrook roads near Interstate-75.
David Verinder, CEO of Sarasota Memorial, recognized the collaborative efforts of city planners and leaders, residents, and a dedicated team of designers, engineers, project managers, administrators, clinicians and staff who have been involved in countless workshops and meetings to help design a state-of-the-art hospital.
“Right now, we are surrounded by empty land and equipment. But I’d like you to envision a beautiful medical campus with a state-of-the-art, full-service hospital right here where we’re standing,” Verinder said. “Most importantly, the new hospital will have the specialists and advanced technology to provide immediate, lifesaving care to residents here, whether they’re suffering from a heart attack or stroke, or if they need specialized care for orthopedic injuries or other illnesses.”
Initially, it will open with 110 private rooms (90 acute-care beds and 20 beds for observation patients), a 28-room Emergency Care Center and eight surgical suites. The all-private suites will include a 10-bed Labor & Delivery/Post-Partum suites, where women can deliver and room with their babies throughout their recovery.
The facility also will have eight surgical suites, with a dedicated operating room for emergency and scheduled obstetrical procedures.
The hospital, which will be hurricane hardened with a seamless connection to SMH’s electronic medical records and information technology, will offer a full array of medical and surgical care, including: Cardiology Unit/Catheterization Lab; Critical Care/Intensive Care Unit; Emergency Care; Endoscopy & other procedural areas; Gastroenterology; Labor & Delivery/Post-Partum Unit; Laboratory/Diagnostic Testing; Nephrology; Neurology/Neurosurgery; Oncology; Orthopedics; Pulmonology; Imaging/Radiology; Urology and more.
Sharon Roush, president of the Venice campus, said the hospital is designed to be flexible and expandable. The campus has the capacity to expand to 270 patient rooms, 16 ORs and a 50-bed Emergency Room to accommodate future growth.
She also highlighted the economic benefits to south county. SMH expects to open the hospital with about 700 staff members to start. The campus also will bring SMH’s extensive physician base farther south, which in turn will help build the medical staff for a future hospital in North Port.
“This is just the beginning,” Roush said. “We are excited about our plans to transform health care in south county.”
Pictured above — Breaking ground on the new Sarasota Memorial Hospital–Venice are (from left): Venice City Council member Bob Daniels, Venice City Manager Ed Lavallee, Venice City Council member Mitzie Fiedler, Venice Mayor John Holic, Sarasota County Public Hospital Board Chair Joe DeVirgilio, Sarasota Memorial Hospital – Venice President Sharon Roush, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System CEO David Verinder, Venice City Council member Jeanette Gates, and Venice Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Kathy Lehner.
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 care, with more than 900,000 patient visits each year. Its flagship hospital in Sarasota, Fla., has been consistently recognized as one of the nation’s best, with superior patient outcomes. The system offers a complete continuum of care – from trauma, emergency and urgent care, to laboratory, diagnostic imaging, rehabilitation and skilled nursing. SMH was recognized among the nation’s 100 top hospitals by IBM Watson Health in 2019 and remains the only hospital in Florida to have consistently earned the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ highest five-star quality rating since the evaluation system launched in 2016.