New hospital tower built around the patient
The new UF Health Heart & Vascular Hospital and the UF Health Neuromedicine Hospitals
On December 10, 2017,
we officially welcomed patients into the new UF Health Heart & Vascular Hospital and the UF Health Neuromedicine Hospital. The story behind this historic milestone for the University of Florida and UF Health begins with our 2010 strategic plan, called Forward Together, and the growth and momentum in clinical services envisioned in that plan and achieved by the extraordinary efforts of our talented and dedicated faculty and staff.
orward Together, UF Health’s 2010 strategic plan, focused on clinical excellence built around the individual patient as the driver for our core missions – patient care, education and research. A few key principles included locating new primary care offices in neighborhoods where patients live and work; creating hubs with new buildings for specialty care; fostering a culture in which faculty draw on the latest evidence-based knowledge in their specialty and on state-of-the-art technology; tailoring care to individual patient needs in a humanistic, personalized manner; and focusing on hospitality, service and the patient experience throughout the organization.
By the fall of 2013, we had grown to the point where our hospitals were almost always full. Therefore, at a meeting that September of the UF Health Shands board of directors, we discussed the possibility of building a new hospital wing to accommodate growth and create modern space that would help us deliver on the vision of achieving significant national stature as an academic health center.
Of course there were risks to building such a hospital tower, mainly centered on the dark clouds and uncertainties that perennially seem to affect the health care landscape.
We, however, took a different view. Yes, there was risk associated with building a new hospital only to find that the health care world had changed in a manner that would challenge our financial sustainability. But, we argued, there was a much greater risk of not expanding: Indeed, could we accommodate growth and achieve our vision as an academic health center of the highest order through piece-by-piece renovation of our existing infrastructure without allowing for growth?
At a retreat of our board and faculty on this topic, we came down on the side of growth. A more ambitious plan emerged based on patient needs: We decided to build two new hospital towers – one for neuromedicine (neurology and neurosurgery) and one for heart and vascular care (cardiology, cardiac and thoracic surgery, and vascular surgery).
In designing the new hospitals, we first assessed the needs of our patients, and then worked with the architects to build spaces that fulfilled these needs.
Physicians, architects, nurses, engineers, administrators, contractors, equipment specialists and staff from diverse areas of specialization focused on the goal of designing an environment that supports sophisticated technology and outstanding medical practice, along with soothing spaces where our patients can heal. Team members representing heart and vascular care, neurology, neurosurgery, operating rooms, intensive care units, acute care units, patient advocacy, radiology, maintenance and every other group that is required to operate a modern academic health center were assembled to work on this project.
Overall, more than 300 companies and 8,000 people worked on the design and construction of these new hospitals during the 4 1/2-year duration of this project.
Our new hospitals for patients with neuromedicine, heart and vascular conditions not only enhance our ability to meet the growing needs of those who have these illnesses but also allow us to meet the expanding needs of patients with a wide variety of other conditions treated at UF Health Shands Hospital. A number of inpatient services — including obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, internal medicine, otolaryngology, plastic surgery, urology, orthopedics, organ transplant and the intensive care units — will benefit from expansion, renovation and modernization now that neuromedicine and cardiovascular services have moved to the new hospitals.
As we move forward with these initiatives, we constantly seek to continue our growth in a manner that will best serve the health care needs of our patients, always remembering to keep the patient at the center of everything we do.
Take a look around
Step into the new hospitals on a 360° virtual tour.