SMH Invests $1B in Health of Community

SMH Invests $1B in Health of Community

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

SARASOTA, Fla. (Dec. 14, 2021) – This month, as Sarasota Memorial Health Care System reflects on an unrelenting year of hardship, challenge and growth, the health system is celebrating several milestones that amount to a billion-dollar investment in the health of the community.
In the midst of a global pandemic that left workers, materials and other essential resources in short supply, Sarasota Memorial opened Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Venice, a 65-acre medical campus and new 110-bed hospital in Venice on Nov. 4, the same day it unveiled the heart of its new Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute, an 8-story oncology and surgical tower on its Sarasota campus. The health system also spent the past several weeks paving the way for construction to begin on a new, state-of-the-art behavioral health pavilion in the New Year.
David Verinder“When we launched these transformative initiatives a few years ago, no one could have predicted the pandemic and how it would put so many lives and projects at risk,” said Sarasota Memorial Health Care System President and Chief Executive Officer David Verinder. “It's been a difficult journey, one that has placed an enormous strain on our capacity and resources, but thanks to the incredible work and dedication of our team and partners, we are welcoming patients into new groundbreaking facilities, and moving forward with more expansion plans that will help us meet vital community needs and promote health and wellness throughout the region for years to come.”
Collectively, the much-needed projects represent a $1.2 billion capital investment and the most significant expansion in the publicly owned, not-for-profit health system’s nearly century of service. All are designed to address pressing community needs. Sarasota Memorial's inpatient volumes have increased by more than 30% over the last 5 years. The hospital's Sarasota campus was regularly at capacity before the onset of COVID-19, and stretched beyond its limits during pandemic-related patient surges. The two recently opened facilities have increased system-wide inpatient capacity from 839 beds to 1,005 beds, allowing the organization to better respond to evolving patient needs and improve access to care. Meanwhile, the behavioral health pavilion will expand essential services at a time when COVID-19 has disrupted lives and led to an increase in people struggling with mental health challenges.
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is the leading provider of healthcare services in southwest Florida, with more than 1 million patient visits each year at its 895-bed Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Sarasota, freestanding ER, and network of medical offices, urgent care and outpatient centers.


SMH-Venice: A Historic Milestone

SMH-VeniceSMH-Venice is the health system's second acute-care hospital, built to serve the rapidly growing south Sarasota County population. The 5-story, 365,000-square-foot facility features 110 private patient rooms, including 10 spacious labor, delivery, recovery, post-partum (LDRP) birthing suites, a 28-bed Emergency Care Center with a stroke hub and two trauma/resuscitation rooms; 8 surgical suites (including the latest robotic surgical systems and 2 surgical suites dedicated for OB patients); 22-bed pandemic-ready Intensive Care Unit; and full array of medical and surgical care. With patient volumes at all-time highs the past several years, Sarasota Memorial created a 65-acre campus that was flexible and expandable. Even before the new hospital opened in November, work already had begun on a third patient care tower that will add 68 more private patient suites in the next two years. Since its opening, the new hospital's inpatient census has hovered near its 110-bed capacity, pointing to the urgent need in the south county community for the new facility. Future phases will enable the hospital to double the size of its Emergency Care Center and surgical suites and expand up to 400 private patient rooms without disrupting hospital operations. 

For information, visit Click here to view a virtual tour of SMH-Venice.


Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute: Bringing Hope Home

SMh cancer towerThe 8-story oncology and surgical tower is the second phase and centerpiece of several premier facilities that make up Sarasota Memorial's Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute. The tower serves as a central location and collaborative space where more than 70 community physicians and oncology specialists work with oncology nurses, navigators, counselors, and other cancer care professionals to guide patients through every step of their cancer journey and ensure they have coordinated access to advanced, personalized treatments for their specific cancers. From the ground up, the tower was designed to instill hope, promote healing and enhance access to care for the increasing number of cancer patients in our community. In addition to a serenity garden and outdoor fountains, the tower provides 56 private suites with comfort items and amenities to make patients and families feel welcome; a clinical meeting room for in-person and virtual tumor board conferences; 9 state-of-the art surgical suites with advanced robotic capabilities; integrative care services offering patient navigation and caregiver support; a health and education center; and café offering healthy menu options. The Cancer Institute is named after the late Brian D. Jellison, former CEO and chairman of Roper Technologies. After his death from cancer in 2018, the Brian and Sheila Jellison Family Foundation donated $25 million to the Sarasota Memorial Health Care Foundation in his memory. Future phases of the Jellison Cancer Institute include a new cancer pavilion in Sarasota and cancer center in Venice that will offer comprehensive outpatient services. For information, visit


Cornell Family Behavioral Health Pavilion: Shining a Light on Mental Health

Slated to begin construction early next year, the Cornell Family Behavioral Health Pavilion is designed to enhance, expand and centralize care for the growing number of adults and children affected by mental and behavioral health challenges. The 3-story, 95,000-square-foot facility will be built on the hospital's Sarasota campus, and replace its aged behavioral health facility. The pavilion will include 4 inpatient units to serve patients of all ages: a 16-bed geriatric Preliminary Renderingunit, 22-bed child and adolescent unit, 24-bed adult unit and 22-bed acute care unit. Each unit will have private rooms with large windows letting in natural light and other design elements that help reduce stress and promote recovery. The first floor will have therapeutic spaces dedicated for the health system's expanding outpatient treatment and counseling programs. In recognition of a $10 million gift from Target Corp. Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell and wife Martha Cornell to the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation, the facility will be named the Cornell Family Behavioral Health Pavilion. A groundbreaking is scheduled in February 2022, with construction slated to be complete in late 2023. Click here for more information.