Orlando Health to commemorate 100th anniversary with Horizon West time capsule

The hospital will bury the capsule at the site of its upcoming 103-bed hospital in Horizon West, which will open in 2021.

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  • | 12:17 p.m. May 1, 2019
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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On Monday, May 6, a 36-inch-long time capsule measuring 11 inches in diameter will be buried at the Orlando Health’s future Horizon West hospital on Porter Road.

The burial of the time capsule serves a dual purpose: to celebrate the 103-bed Horizon West Hospital under construction on Porter Road, which is scheduled to open in 2021, and Orlando Health’s 100-year anniversary, said Orlando Health Chief Operating Officer Rick Smith.

Orlando Health opened its first hospital — then known as Orange General Hospital — on Nov. 5, 1918, in a one-story building fronting South Orange Avenue. The hospital was later renamed to Orange Memorial Hospital in 1946 in honor of soldiers who fought in World War II, and after several expansion projects, the hospital was named the Orlando Regional Medical Center in 1997.

“We’re taking the opportunity to celebrate that construction project, but due to the timing of the project and the accelerated schedule, we probably missed the opportunity for a groundbreaking, if you will, because it’s already coming out of the ground,” Smith said. “But we thought that we could instead do this time capsule to also celebrate Orlando Health’s 100 years of service to the community. So it’s kind of fitting that we reflect back a little bit, but also think about the future. And so, when we open this time capsule about 50 years from now: what will that look like? And what will the people opening the capsule think of our current state in 2019?”

The capsule’s burial spot will be designated by a monument or marker that is yet to be designed, and the capsule will hold about 40 pounds worth of items that reflect modern-day health care and the West Orange community, Smith added. 

“We’re looking for things that reflect our current state, like photographs of today, newspaper and magazine articles, etc. ,” he said. “I mean, I can only imagine how health care will change in the next 50 years, so we’ll probably also put in some health care-related items. And in 50 years, whoever opens this will probably think, ‘Wow, how archaic they were in 2021.”

Orlando Health Media Relations Manager Desmond Jordon said the organization has selected a few items for inclusion in the time capsule, including a book thoroughly detailing the history of the organization’s past 100 years of operation.

“We’ve compiled a book that’s been written from the organization’s standpoint about our first 100 years of providing healthcare for Central Florida,” Jordon said. “And we’re also putting a copy of that book into the time capsule, as well. And we’re also putting one of our current community-benefit reports.”


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