In addition to Health Central’s expansion in Ocoee, construction on three entirely new facilities will start or finish in West Orange County this year.
| 3:04 a.m. January 7, 2016
West Orange Times & Observer
WEST ORANGE COUNTY Florida has one of the fastest-growing populations in the country, with the third-highest population of any state, and many of those new residents are settling in Orange County. From 2013 to 2014, more than 50,000 people moved to the Orlando area, according to census data, making it the 16th-fastest-growing metropolitan area in the country.
The population growth has spurred the development of Horizon West and plans for other residential hubs, but there’s another question to be answered: Where will all of those people go when they need health care — particularly, as they age?
Health Central Hospital in Ocoee is in the midst of an expansion, but three new facilities — managed by Florida Health, Validus Senior Living and Orlando Health — will open soon to accommodate residents of Orange County, as well as patients who travel here for treatment and care.
Ocoee: Health Central Hospital
Health Central Hospital, a branch of Orlando Health, broke ground in November on a new bed tower and improved emergency department. The emergency wing is expected to be complete by summer 2016, and the rest of the project should be finished by the fall.
The expansion will more than triple the current size of the emergency wing. It also will increase the total number of hospital beds from 171 to 211, and every room will be private. There will be 120 new permanent jobs at the hospital by the time construction is complete.
“The bed tower is expanding the maximum capacity of the overall hospital … improving a number of factors in the healthcare sector,” said John Murphy, West Orange Healthcare District chairman of the board.
Orlando Health also will be opening an office in Summerport in summer 2016, at the intersection of County Road 535 and West Lake Butler Road. The Summerport office will be two stories and 60,000 square feet.
“We have doctors in the community scattered, and they’ll be able to move in there to collaborate,” said Administrator of Ancillary Services Lonnie Cahoon.
Ocoee: Inspired Living
Validus Senior Living, a Tampa-based community, has begun to market a network of assisted living centers for NFL alumni called Inspired Living. The first Inspired Living center will open in summer 2016 at 1060 Tomyn Blvd., Ocoee.
There will eventually be 33 Inspired Living facilities in cities throughout the country with a high concentration of retired NFL players living nearby, but Ocoee’s 158-bed center will be the first to open.
“The new relationship (with Validus) will be life-changing for our members who are in need of assisted living and memory cases,” NFLAA CEO and President Joe Pisarcik said.
Inspired Living centers will have various amenities such as pools, dog parks, boardwalks, tiki huts, butterfly gardens, putting greens and fine dining.
Sylvia Mackey, widow of NFL Hall-of-Famer John Mackey, recently was named as an adviser and spokeswoman for a group of Inspired Living communities. John Mackey developed dementia in his later years and required assisted living care until he died in 2011.
“If John were alive, I know he would support this wonderful project,” Sylvia Mackey said. “Yes, I have lost the love of my life, but I have not lost the life in my love for him and his legacy—and this is it.”
Winter Garden: Florida Hospital Winter Garden
Winter Garden soon will be home to Florida Hospital’s ninth hospital in Central Florida, located on Sembler Way across from Winter Garden Village. Opening day was originally planned for late 2015 but has been pushed to early 2016.
The hospital will be three stories and cover about 97,000 square feet. The location was based on its easy access to State Road 429, the established population of the area, visibility of Winter Garden Village and other considerations.
“We have for years looked at this market as a place where we wanted to extend the mission of Florida Hospital,” said Rob Fulbright, senior executive officer for Florida Hospital Orlando. “When you think of years of planning and strategizing and thinking, to finally be here … it’s thrilling.”
The facility will offer emergency services, sports medicine and rehabilitations, outpatient surgery, a multi-specialty clinic, lab and imaging services and more.
“We won’t have a distinct specialty to start,” said Amanda Maggard, the hospital’s administrator. “Our focus is more broad. We see our health facility as serving as many patients as possible. We’ll have access to many different physicians.”
Eventually, a second phase including a seven-story, 200-bed community hospital is expected to follow at Florida Hospital Winter Garden, but plans have not been finalized yet.
Dr. Phillips: Spring Lake Health & Living
Dr. Phillips Inc. will break ground this month on Spring Lake Health and Living, a $75 million, 26-acre senior health care center off Dr. Phillips Boulevard between the Southwest Branch Library and Spring Lake. The facility will include 80 independent-living apartments, 70 assisted-living apartments and 30 memory-care apartments, as well as a medical pavilion for patients who live off-site.
Harbor Retirement Associates and Orlando Health will manage the project.
“By creating the Spring Lake Health and Living campus, we can provide residents of the close-knit community of Dr. Phillips, along with the surrounding communities of Bay Hill and Windermere, the opportunity to age in a place near their families, their churches and their friends,” Dr. Phillips Inc. President Ken Robinson said. “It also will give the children of elderly parents a chance to relocate them here from around the country so they can be nearby to help.”
The medical pavilion is expected to be complete by fall 2016, and the first housing units will follow about a year later. There will be offices for primary care physicians and specialists in oncology, cardiology, orthopedics and geriatrics from the Orlando Health network, as well as imaging and diagnostic centers, a pharmacy and a cafe.