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New 100-bed hospital in North Port to relieve pressure at SMH-Sarasota

Sarasota Memorial Health Care is planning a new hospital in south county. Paired with SMH-Venice, they will serve the fast-growing communities and relieve pressure on SMH-Sarasota.

Plans are underway to expand SMH-Venice. (Courtesy photo)
Plans are underway to expand SMH-Venice. (Courtesy photo)
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Fifteen years after acquiring 32 acres near Interstate 75, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System has begun planning and site work for SMH-North Port. It will be the third acute care hospital in the SMH network and the first hospital for North Port, which at 80,000 residents is the largest city in Sarasota County.

The hospital is expected require about three years of planning and permitting before construction begins. The announcement comes less than a year after opening the 110-bed Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Venice.

The size, cost and construction schedule for the hospital remain under development. Expected to open with approximately 100 beds, the campus will be flexible and expandable with the capacity to more than double in size to meet the needs of one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, according to SMH.

The new facility will benefit operations and care at the main campus in the city.

“Our new hospitals in southern Sarasota County will help enhance both the quality and the quantity of care we offer throughout the entire health system, including at our Sarasota campus,” said SMH President and CEO David Verinder. “In recent years, patient volumes have grown tremendously at SMH-Sarasota, even before the pandemic began. To help overcome space and capacity challenges, we knew we needed to open new hospitals in fast-growing south county communities.”

That relief won’t come immediately. Verinder expects the foundation of the new facility to begin to take shape in 2025. Prior to that SMH-Venice, open less than one year and operating at capacity from day one, has begun work on a patient care tower that will add 68 private patient rooms by early 2024, part of the health care system’s south county expansion to keep patients closer to home.

“That, in turn, helps the Sarasota campus, giving us additional space and capacity to open more private patient rooms, launch new programs, add new technology and modernize facilities,” Verinder said. “The demand for health care in south county is only going to intensify. In the past several years, we’ve seen a large increase in the number of inpatients who come from the area, and the new North Port hospital will help meet the growing demand.”

Plans are underway to expand SMH-Venice. (Courtesy photo)
Plans are underway to expand SMH-Venice. (Courtesy photo)

SMH-North Port will offer a range of acute medical, surgical and specialty care, outpatient programs and diagnostic services, plus space for educational and support programs. The facility will be hurricane hardened with a back-up energy center and will be connected to the SMH electronic medical records, clinical and specialized support systems.

The new campus will include medical office buildings with primary and specialty physicians, including SMH’s First Physicians Group network. SMH is also updating plans for a health care campus on property it owns in nearby Wellen Park and its existing North Port facility.


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