University of Florida Health breaks ground for new hospitals

140530_Front View_smallGAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida Health broke ground today for the UF Health Heart & Vascular Hospital and the UF Health Neuromedicine Hospital, a $415 million project that will give rise to the Southeast’s most advanced home for the care of patients with heart, vascular and neurological illnesses.

The UF Health & Vascular Hospital will focus solely on patients with heart and vascular needs while the UF Health Neuromedicine Hospital will focus on patients with neurologic needs. Housed in one contiguous building, each hospital’s focus will give patients concentrated care for some of the most complex health conditions. Consolidating cardiac and neurologic experts in one location will help to provide shorter procedure times for patients, provide a variety of treatment options and promote shorter hospital stays and faster recovery.

“These two new hospitals reflect the goals outlined in our strategic plan, to offer our patients a continuum of compassionate care that will address their cardiovascular and neurologic needs throughout their lives,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D. “While we already provide state-of-the-art care to these patients, the two new hospitals will provide a healing environment that revolves around our patients, one location to address everything from outpatient visits and easy access to laboratory tests and imaging to complex surgeries and follow-up care.”

The hospitals also will provide a place where UF Health can grow. Florida has recently been named the third most populous state. The rising population means a rising number of patients coming into the UF Health system.

“Thanks to the excellent work and dedication of our teams, over the past decade UF Health Shands has become a destination center for patients needing complex heart, vascular and neurological services,” said Ed Jimenez, interim chief executive officer for UF Health Shands. “Now these teams of doctors, nurses and other staff will have a building with more than 500,000 additional square feet to meet the growing needs of our patients.”

Encompassing a total of 521,104 square feet, the hospitals will have a combined 216 rooms. Radiology, presurgery, laboratory and other support services will be on the first floor of both hospitals so that patients will be able to have most of their health care needs met in one building. Inpatient rooms will be on the upper floors of the hospitals. The hospitals also will feature multiple hybrid operating rooms with the capability of adapting to rapidly changing medical technology.

The UF Health Heart & Vascular Hospital will occupy the south wing of the building and will include 120 beds. The hospital’s leaders will be Jamie Conti, M.D., chief of the division of cardiovascular medicine; Thomas Beaver, M.D., M.P.H., chief of the division of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery; and Thomas Huber, M.D., Ph.D., chief of vascular surgery and endovascular surgery.

The UF Health Neuromedicine Hospital will occupy the north wing of the building and will include 96 beds. The hospital’s leaders include William Friedman, M.D., chairman of the department of neurosurgery; Michael Okun, M.D., interim chairman of the department of neurology; Brian Hoh, M.D., chief of the UF Neurovascular Program; and Michael Waters, M.D., Ph.D., medical director of the UF Health Shands Comprehensive Stroke Center.

The hospital selected Skanska USA to do the construction work. The building’s engineering firm will be Affiliated Engineers, Inc. and Flad & Associates are the architects designing the building. The hospitals are expected to open in 2018.

For a video of a virtual fly-through of the hospitals, click here.

For a video featuring UF Health patients, click here.


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UF Health, the most comprehensive academic health center in the Southeast, is a collaboration of the University of Florida Health Science Center and Shands. The colleges of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health and Health Professions, and Veterinary Medicine, various research centers and institutes, a network of faculty practices and the Shands family of hospitals fall under the UF Health umbrella, which extends to a regional campus in Jacksonville. UF Health also has a statewide presence through satellite medical, dental and nursing clinics staffed by UF health professionals and through affiliations with community-based health care facilities stretching from Hialeah and Miami to the Florida Panhandle.