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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Apr. 7, 2021 5 months ago

AdventHealth celebrates topping out in Winter Garden

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Team members marked the construction milestone for the new Winter Garden hospital, which is expected to open in spring 2022.
by: Danielle Hendrix Associate Editor

The only full-service hospital within Winter Garden city limits reached a new milestone with a topping-out ceremony April 8.

AdventHealth Winter Garden celebrated the major construction milestone with team members from the health care organization and general contractor Brasfield & Gorrie. Topping out means the building has reached its full height.

“We are excited to have expanded health care services out here in Winter Garden and give the community an AdventHealth choice,” said Kari Vargas, CEO of AdventHealth Winter Garden. “We know that West Orange is growing, and we want to be here and grow with and support the community.”

The topping-out tradition involves hoisting a beam topped by a tree to the top of the structure. The beam used for AdventHealth Winter Garden’s topping-out ceremony was covered in hundreds of digital signatures from team members and the West Orange community. Atop the beam was a small orange tree to pay homage to West Orange County’s agricultural heritage. The tree symbolizes growth and is meant to bring good luck to the building.

“We have been in Central Florida for (more than) 100 years, and our commitment to whole-person care is really something that we know the residents fo the West Orange community are really looking forward to.” — Kari Vargas, CEO, AdventHealth Winter Garden

 

When the hospital’s five-story inpatient tower is complete, it will have 80 beds and space for new services such as advanced gynecology, cardiology, gastroenterology, general surgery, neurology, spine health and urology. Also included will be an operating room and catheterization laboratory.

The project broke ground in 2019 and is expected to open its doors in spring 2022. It has generated about 400 construction jobs, and upon completion, it will bring 400 medical and support jobs to the West Orange community. 

Vargas expressed gratitude for construction partner Brasfield & Gorrie, which was able to continue progress on the inpatient tower throughout the pandemic by adhering to necessary safety protocols.

“As we stand here at our topping out, we know that we’re just that much closer to being able to be a full-service community hospital,” Vargas said. “We were excited that so many people would continue working through the pandemic — but making sure that we did it in a very safe way, following the same guidelines that we do out in the community with social distancing, masking, hand washing and all of those things that we know are proven to keep people safe.”

AdventHealth Winter Garden CEO Kari Vargas and Chief Medical Officer Omayra Mansfield signaled to construction workers to raise the beam.

The tower — which joins the existing emergency department and office building — will span 227,000 square feet, and it includes more than 15,500 cubic yards of concrete. According to AdventHealth, that’s enough concrete to build a new 18-mile, two-lane road from AdventHealth Winter Garden to Advent Health Orlando. 

Dr. Omayra Mansfield, chief medical officer of AdventHealth Winter Garden, said the addition of the hospital tower allows AdventHealth to expand services to community members and allow them to stay close to home for the care they need.

“We’ve established trust with our community as (far as) providing excellent care and really caring for people and loving them, which is part of our service standards,” Mansfield said. “What I’m even more excited about now, though, is knowing that for those who truly need that next level of service, we can keep them right here. And as a physician who really wants to be amenable to not just the medical needs of my patients but also the emotional support that a local family and community can provide, that’s truly significant for me.”

Mansfield added that with the West Orange community expanding so rapidly, the addition of AdventHealth’s inpatient tower is more important than ever.

“We have anywhere from young families to older individuals, and they all at some point may need health care,” she said. “The beauty of this facility is that we’re going to be able to provide care to that entire continuum of a family.”

Danielle Hendrix is the Associate Editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. She is a 2015 graduate of the University of Central Florida, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in world comparative studies. ...

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