Orlando Health/ GrowthSpotter files
Orlando Health is renovating a former Harley Davidson dealership near Waterford Lakes and redeveloping its hospital campus in Longwood as part of plans to bring two new free-standing emergency rooms to the Greater Orlando area.
And while these facilities move forward — and as construction continues on a 320,000-square-foot acute care hospital in Lake Mary — the healthcare provider also recently filed plans for a new two-story, 144-room behavioral health hospital along Orange Blossom Trail in Apopka.
Orlando Health will design and build the 100,000-square-foot hospital in partnership with Acadia Healthcare, which is currently managing behavioral health services at the soon-to-be-reimagined Orlando Health South Seminole Hospital in Longwood. The organizations announced a joint-venture partnership in December 2021 designed to enhance and expand behavioral health services in Central Florida.
“This announcement is an exciting step in our partnership with Acadia to amplify the quality of behavioral health care in our region,” Matthew Angelelli, MD, medical director for behavioral health at Orlando Health, said in a statement. “The new hospital will be the centerpiece from where we expand inpatient and outpatient programs, enhance community outreach activities, improve patient, employee and customer experience and develop new comprehensive psychiatric strategies across the entire healthcare system.”
The behavioral health hospital is expected to open in 2024, according to a news release.
It’s among several development projects in the pipeline for Orlando Health.
Last year, the nonprofit company announced plans to expand into the Tampa Bay area with a 300-bed multi-story hospital and wellness campus at Wiregrass Ranch, a master-planned community of more than 5,000 acres.
Located at the northeast corner of the intersection of State Road 56 and Wiregrass Ranch Boulevard, Orlando Health Wiregrass Ranch Hospital would be accessible for residents living in Pasco County and northern Hillsborough County.
Orlando Health is currently building a hospital campus in Seminole County at Lake Mary’s Wellness and Technology Park that will include two six-story towers with 180 beds. At 320,000 square feet, Orlando Health Lake Mary Hospital will be a comprehensive acute care facility with labor and delivery services, a neonatal intensive care unit, six state-of-the-art operating rooms, two catheterization labs, a comprehensive imaging suite, medical-surgical bed units, an observation unit, dining, chapel and gift shop.
The hospital can be expanded to hold up to 240 beds.
With that new hospital expected to open in 2024, Orlando Health is redeveloping its smaller South Seminole Hospital in Longwood as a healthcare hub that would be anchored by a new free-standing emergency department.
The emergency department would cover 12,910 square feet at the southern tip of the property, closest to S.R. 434, according to site plans submitted to the St. John’s River Water Management District. Construction is expected to start in 2024.
Most of the Longwood campus will be redeveloped, leaving two existing medical office buildings to continue offering important services such as cardiology, pulmonology, rehabilitation, general surgery, infectious disease, and urology.
The behavioral health services that are offered here currently will be relocated to the behavioral health hospital underway in Apopka at 1452 South Orange Blossom Trail.
Leaders at Orlando Health and officials with the City of Longwood are working together to create a destination for residents that complements the nearby Reiter Park, according to a hospital news release.
The current campus is envisioned to include a 15-acre town center for the City of Longwood comprising a high-quality mix of multi-family residential, retail and office uses.
“We’re very proud of our nearly 40-year history here in Longwood as a hospital caring for so many people in our community and as one of the largest employers in the area,” Shawn Molsberger, senior vice president of Orlando Health’s northeast region and president of Orlando Health South Seminole Hospital, said in a statement. “Working closely with the city, we’re making an investment into our community that allows us to continue providing a high level of care while bringing in new amenities that will further enhance the quality of life for Longwood residents.”
The hospital announced years ago that it would be adding to its inventory of standalone emergency rooms in an effort to increase access to healthcare in response to Central Florida’s growth.
“Consumers tell us they want convenient access to healthcare services so it’s easier to take care of themselves and their families,” Greg Ohe, Orlando Health’s senior vice president for ambulatory services, said in a statement.
Currently, the system has six free-standing emergency rooms, with the most recent opening at East Orlando’s Randal Park in June of 2021.
In December, Orlando Health purchased the Harley-Davidson dealership located at 11898 Lake Underhill Road, near Lockheed Martin’s campus and just southwest of the Waterford Lakes Town Center, for $7.1 million, according to deed records.
Months later, in mid-February, the hospital system submitted an application to Orange County seeking approval of a plan to renovate the motorcycle retailer into an 18,000-square-foot free-standing emergency room with a capacity for up to 24 exam rooms, including two resuscitation rooms, a computerized tomography room, a radiology room, and a lab.
The project requires minor adjustments to the existing 5.3-acre site layout, including the addition of two canopies, a new dumpster enclosure, and a generator enclosure, according to application materials submitted to the county.
Hospital spokeswoman Sabrina Childress declined to provide an estimate on what this renovation effort would cost.
An opening date for the new emergency room has not yet been set, according to a news release.
“The East Orange County community has grown tremendously over the last couple of decades,” Matt Taylor, senior vice president of asset strategy for Orlando Health, said in a prepared statement. “Consumer demand for greater access and more choices in healthcare services has and continues to grow in that area. Orlando Health is pleased to expand its presence to serve the East Orange community to address this growing need.”
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