On July 8, the skies over 10000 West Colonial Drive lit up with a spectacle of fireworks. What was the occasion? A belated Independence Day celebration? Not quite. But, it was a display of West Orange County history in the making. It marked the phase one grand opening of Health Central Hospital’s emergency room expansion, as well as a newly constructed patient tower.
The celebration was followed a day later by 2016’s biggest community party when Health Central Hospital, a part of the Orlando Health healthcare system, opened the doors of the new emergency room to the public. Over 2,000 West Orange community members attended the opening, and few were able to contain their excitement over the newly enhanced healthcare facility that emerged practically in their own back yard.
“Just look at this place. It’s absolutely gorgeous,” said a woman with two young children in tow as she looked around at a bright, yet relaxing, lobby with comfortable, homelike furnishings adorned by soothing images of tropical blossoms.
In these comforting surroundings, one would think she was visiting West Orange County’s newest hotel or spa, but she wasn’t. The woman was touring Health Central Hospital’s brand new emergency room.
“I kind of wish I wasn’t feeling well,” she said with a smile. “I’d love to have an excuse to stay here.”
This is hardly a sentiment anyone would expect to hear from someone standing in the middle of a hospital emergency room. Yet, when West Orange community members toured Health Central Hospital’s expanded 59,000-square-foot emergency room at the July 9 grand opening event, many had similar reactions.
That day, the hospital gave the public a behind-the-scenes look at the new emergency room with 62 private patient beds, the latest lifesaving technologies, easy access by car and ambulance, and a prime location within the full-service hospital. The newly built five-story patient tower also added 40 new beds, bringing the hospital’s total to 211 completely private patient beds.
“Health Central Hospital’s emergency department is bigger, more efficient and resides on the Ocoee campus,” says Mark Marsh, president of Health Central Hospital. “There is no need to transport patients across town or out of the area for acute or specialty care. It’s all right here and it’s close to home.”
Visitors at the grand opening event got to meet and interact with emergency room care teams, as well as 40 different healthcare specialty teams, and enjoyed interactive experiences unlike anything they had ever experienced.
“Visitors from around the community traveled through a giant inflatable colon, interacted with our Robodoc robot, performed mock surgeries and even a handled a heart replica,” says Bart Rodier, MD, Health Central Hospital’s chief quality officer.
Visitors also interacted with first responders, including those from Winnie Palmer Transport, Arnold Palmer Transport, Rural Metro Ambulance, Orlando Health Air Care and the Ocoee Fire Department.
“Inviting the public to get to know us and letting them experience the work that we do here in a comfortable, family friendly environment opened up a new level of trust and engagement that you can’t get through a brochure,” adds Dr. Rodier.
Confidence, Convenience and Comfort
West Orange County is growing at a near unprecedented rate with families and visitors pouring in from all around the globe. Health Central Hospital’s expanded emergency room has opened at a time when the community needs it the most, and not a moment too soon. Community growth means that high-quality healthcare, including emergency care, is in high demand.
Emergency room visits in Central Florida continue to increase each year. Over a two-year period between 2013 and 2015, Orange County emergency room volumes increased by approximately 70,000 patients. In West Orange County, emergency room volumes rose by approximately 4,100 during that same period.
The emergency room and patient tower build out was made possible by a $39 million grant awarded by the West Orange Healthcare District in 2014. The grant, which has been the largest in the district’s history, funded 100 percent of the emergency room expansion and 75 percent of the total expansion costs. Orlando Health funded the remaining 25 percent.
Building on a Legacy
The hospital’s new emergency room is one of many healthcare innovations that West Orange County can experience through Health Central Hospital. Building on a 65-year legacy of care in the community, quality is at the forefront of all of the hospital’s healthcare initiatives. Health Central Hospital is one of only 44 hospitals in the United States recognized by The Joint Commission as a “Top Performer” in key quality measures. It is also an accredited Chest Pain Center, a Joint Commission accredited Primary Stroke Receiving Center, a Joint Commission Hip and Knee Center, and has an accredited heart failure program.
The hospital offers advanced cardiovascular care through a team of interventional cardiologists, catheterization suites, and minimally invasive interventional vascular and cardiac procedures. To complement this care, Health Central Hospital recently unveiled its newly expanded post catheterization recovery area that offers patients more comfort and privacy to recuperate in than ever before.
Building on the strength of its cancer treatment offerings through UF Health Cancer Center, Health Central Hospital has launched its new, on-campus supportive care center. Its purpose is to help cancer patients to manage symptoms, pain and stress; to treat side effects in comfortable, private rooms with soothing natural light; and provide all new amenities and the very latest in supportive care technologies.
Rounding out its on-campus services, the hospital constructed it new post-op recovery unit to enable patients to recover from surgical procedures comfortably and close to home.
Each of these hospital enhancements serves the West Orange community with more state-of-the-art – and local – healthcare choices while driving Health Central Hospital’s history of caring, compassionate care.
“Our goal is not to be the community’s convenient choice for healthcare,” says Marsh. “We strive to be the community’s emergency and non-emergency healthcare provider of choice, that just so happens to be convenient.”