With several firsts in store for Apopka that include two catheterization labs, four operating rooms and a recovery room, construction on the new Florida Hospital Apopka campus is about 90 percent complete with a target opening date in the first week of December.
On Thursday, September 7, Florida Hospital Administrator Tim Cook gave a one-hour tour of the campus, located at the intersection of Harmon Road and Ocoee-Apopka Road by State Road 429 and SR 414.
Upon completion, the $203-million Florida Hospital Apopka will be a 70-acre site with a seven-story, 600,000 square-foot hospital building, a 200,000 square-foot medical office building, and a helipad.
Brasfield and Gorrie, a construction firm with offices in Winter Park, Jacksonville, and out of state, is the project contractor.
“Our builders have been outstanding. They’ve done an outstanding job,” Cook said. “You can see it in the quality of their work. You can see it in the attitude and the personality of their team.”
An upgrade over the North Park Avenue hospital campus, the latest campus will have 120 in-patient rooms (compared to the current 50-bed facility), additional surgical services, an expanded women’s center, an outpatient rehabilitation program, and an intensive care unit (ICU) that will have 19 beds and 24-hour critical care coverage.
The hospital will have two catheterization, or “cath” labs, in adjacent rooms. These cath labs will perform interventional radiology procedures, which Cook described as a “live X-ray,” that will open up blocked vessels and perform biopsies. A cath lab will take a very thin needle and push it through the patient’s vein. What the machine is viewing within the body will appear on a screen.
The new hospital will also have four operating rooms with state-of-the-art technology, a recovery room, and ICUs. Patient rooms will have bathrooms and showers for patients along with sleeper sofas for their families spending long visits.
The recovery room, also known as the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU), is where patients will go after surgery. The 16-bay PACU is the only place in the hospital where curtains will separate patients; all other rooms in the building are walled in, Cook said.
Whereas the existing campus has a snack shop, the new campus will have a full-service cafeteria named Verbee’s Café, after longtime former hospital administrator Verbelee Nielsen-Swanson.
There will also be a chapel and a meditation garden, a conference center (which is a large room that can be separated into three small rooms for different meetings), and a gift shop.
The new campus is anticipated to create up to 300 new job opportunities in medical and non-medical fields.