Florida Hospital Waterman announced today an expansion at its Tavares hospital campus that will more than double the size of the Emergency Department and include the addition of a four-story patient tower dedicated to women’s services, pediatrics and future growth. The project will add more than 111,000 square feet of patient care space to the hospital including an expansion of the Emergency Department to 58 beds, and a 24-bed women and children’s unit on the second floor of the tower. Floors three and four will be shelled for future growth, and the structure will support an additional expansion up to six floors.
In 2016, Florida Hospital Waterman treated more than 65,000 patients in its Emergency Department. When the hospital moved to its new facility and current location in Tavares, the Emergency Department was built to accommodate 50,000 patients a year.
Since 2000, the population of Lake County has grown by nearly 50%, and it’s expected to grow by another 12% over the next four years according to 2010 Census data.
“We have experienced substantial growth in our Emergency Department over the past several years,” said Abel Biri, Chief Executive Officer, Florida Hospital Waterman. “As our community continues to grow, and more Lake County residents choose us for their care, we must expand to meet that demand.”
The hospital’s Emergency Department will grow from 35 to 58 beds. It will feature improvements in privacy and patient flow, and offer innovative treatment options for special patient populations like children, seniors and heart attack patients.
“More than 80% of the hospital’s patients originate in the Emergency Department, and Florida Hospital Waterman has placed a significant amount of emphasis on this area for a good reason,” said Floriano Putigna, Emergency Department Medical Director. The second floor of the new patient tower will be dedicated to a state-of-the-art women and children’s center. In partnership with Florida Hospital for Women and Florida Hospital for Children, the new center will include 24 beds for women’s services including labor and delivery, post-partum care, and inpatient pediatrics. The hospital’s current Center for Women and Children will be converted to a medical-surgical unit.
The Florida Hospital Waterman Foundation has pledged to raise $5 million through community donations to help fund the project. The entire project is expected to cost $70 million.
Construction is slated to begin in July with the expansion and new patient tower complete by the start of 2019. At that time, the existing Emergency Department will be renovated. The entire projected is scheduled to be complete by July 2019.
A groundbreaking at the hospital is scheduled for Thursday, July 6 at 9:30 a.m.