Friday marked a monumental day for UF Health, as the medical center broke ground on two new hospitals.
“Today [Friday] marks a bold step for UF and UF Health,” UF President Kent Fuchs said.
The hospitals will specialize in helping patients who suffer from cardiovascular and neuromedical conditions, like former patient Catherine Flanigan. She suffered a stroke last November.
“I couldn’t move my leg and I couldn’t talk. I didn’t know what was wrong,” Flanigan said. “If it wasn’t for my doctors, I probably wouldn’t be here. They did the best they could. And because of them, I am who I am again.”
Of the 50,000 patients admitted to UF Health Shands hospital last year, around 20,000 suffered from cardiovascular or neuromedical conditions, according to UF Health President Dr. David Guzick,
“Neuromedicine, which is neurology and neurosurgery, and cardiovascular disease, which involves vascular surgeries, cardiac surgeries, and cardiology, represent two of the most crippling illnesses that we all potentially might have,” Guzick said.
Guzick said that the $415 million project, which was launched to prevent the hospital from hitting capacity, was made possible through fundraising in addition to available funds.
“Because of our focus on patient quality, and the patient being at the center of all we do, we’ve been able to attract more and more patients from around the state,” Guzik said, “to the point where we’re really out of room.”
As well as providing room for more patients, the hospital will house the latest medical technology and add around one thousand jobs.
Construction will take anywhere from two-and-a-half to three years, according to UF Health. Both facilities are scheduled to open in early 2018.