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Sarasota Memorial Set to Open Freestanding ER and Health Care Center in North Port.

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SARASOTA, FL — Sarasota Memorial is scheduled to open its long-awaited freestanding Emergency Room and Health Care Center in North Port on Sept. 1.

The $20 million center is located in the North Port Medical Plaza, 2345 Bobcat Village Center Road, just off Toledo Blade Blvd., about 3.5 miles west of Interstate 75/exit 179.

Open 24/7:


Members of the media are invited to take a sneak peek at the new freestanding ER and Health Care Center and meet the staff at 3:00pm., Friday, Aug. 28. The facility will be open to the public on Sept. 1.

The new ER features 21 fully equipped treatment rooms staffed by board-certified emergency physicians. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the facility includes specialized treatments rooms for trauma, obstetrics and psychiatric care, and a 23-hour observation unit for patients who need treatment and evaluation but do not need to be admitted to a hospital. An on-site laboratory and full complement of radiology services (MRI, CT, X-Ray, ultrasound and digital mammography equipment) also will be open 24/7, both for ER patients and for community members seeking routine lab and radiology tests.

Other outpatient services at the new facility include rehabilitation (physical and occupational therapies) and home health care for residents requiring home visits and private duty care.

The new ER also will have a dedicated, specially equipped ambulance service ready to transport patients to the hospital if necessary. The Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation, Inc., recently approved a $422,218 grant to fund the ambulance service, which will serve adult and pediatric patients and provide critical care interventions. Until the service is up and running in a few months, SMH will station its current cardiac ambulance in North Port full-time. The hospital also will contract with the local ambulance service Ambitrans for back-up.

Part of the Sarasota Memorial Health Care System network, the new ER and outpatient center is fully connected to the main hospital campus’ high-tech electronic medical record system, ensuring the latest patient safety features and an uninterrupted continuum of care. Specialists at Sarasota Memorial Hospital will be able to view records and test results while patients are transported from the ER, so treatment can get under way as soon as they arrive at the hospital.

“Sarasota Memorial’s new ER and Health Care Center will fill a critical need in North Port,” said Sarasota Memorial CEO Gwen MacKenzie. “We’re delighted to open a state-of-the-art care center that will provide residents with quick, convenient access to top-quality medical services and lay the groundwork for a future hospital in the community.”

The center will serve the city of about 50,000-plus residents as well as surrounding communities. A grand opening celebration for the community will take place from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 10.

Fifteen emergency physicians -- all members of the practice that provides emergency medical services to Sarasota Memorial Hospital — will staff the North Port ER.

ER at a Glance:

• Sarasota Memorial’s new freestanding ER is one of only a handful of such facilities in Florida. The ERs, which are called freestanding because they are not physically attached to a hospital, are part of a growing trend that reflects the nationwide drop in hospital admissions and growth in outpatient care, where advanced technology and treatments are designed to keep people out of the hospital.

• The facility ultimately will employ about 150-200 people in positions ranging from nurses, pharmacists and rehabilitation therapists, to registration coordinators, lab and radiology techs and other support roles.

• Sarasota Memorial purchased the 26,596-square-foot ground floor of the two-story North Port Medical Plaza to house the ER and outpatient center. The plaza’s developer, the Starling Group, owns the second floor, which has space available for lease or purchase.

About Sarasota Memorial Health Care System
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, an 806-bed regional medical center, is among the largest public health systems in Florida. A full-service health system, Sarasota Memorial has specialized expertise in heart, vascular, cancer and neuroscience services, as well as a network of outpatient centers, long-term care and rehabilitation among its many programs. The hospital has been listed for six consecutive years in U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals” edition.

Date Published: August 21, 2009

Media Contact: Ellen Simon
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System
Phone: (941) 917-1499

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