Over 700 community members joined AdventHealth Waterman on May 1 for the grand opening celebration of a new four-story patient tower, dedicated to expanded emergency care, women’s services, pediatrics, inpatient rehabilitation and future growth.
This event celebrates the completion of Phase I of a 111,000-square-foot, $74 million expansion, growing AdventHealth Waterman from 269 beds to 287 beds.
“We have come a long way since we broke ground on this site in the summer of 2017,” said Abel Biri AdventHealth Waterman CEO. “This has truly been a labor of love and is our gift to our community.”
On May 3 at 6 a.m., the first floor that houses the hospital’s new 38-bed emergency department opens to patients. The new entrance is located on Waterman Way immediately following Huffstetler Road. Ambulances will continue to enter from the back of the hospital.
With this opening, the original ER space will soon undergo renovations as part of Phase II of the construction project. When Phase II is completed by the end of 2019, an additional 20 ER beds will be added, including eight new pediatric ER beds. The completion of Phase II will bring the total number of ER beds to 58 and will more than double the size of the emergency department.
“Each year, over 65,000 of our neighbors, friends and family members turn to the people inside these walls during a time a need,” said Biri. “Sometimes it’s for a joyous occasion, as with the birth of new child. But sometimes it is for a life-threatening emergency. Patients turn to us and put their trust in us to provide them and their loved ones with the highest quality and most advanced care. While this is a beautiful new building with the latest technology, it is the people inside with their clinical skill and their uncommon compassion that truly mean the most.”
The second floor is a dedicated 24-bed Center for Women and Children and opens to patients on May 3 at 8 a.m. In partnership with AdventHealth for Women and AdventHealth for Children, the new center includes gynecology, labor and delivery, postpartum care and inpatient pediatrics.
“Our hospital has delivered babies for over 80 years, and since we moved to the current campus in 2003, our team has delivered more than 7,500 children,” said Biri. “Our new Center for Women and Children will be a trusted place of comfort and healing for the women and families of Lake County, a place where future community members will take their very first breaths.”
The third floor will bring a brand-new healthcare service to the Lake County community: a 12-bed inpatient rehabilitation unit, which will open by the end of the year as part of Phase II of this project.
“No other facility within Lake County provides these services, which can create a significant hardship on family members and patients, as they have to leave our community and travel to Orlando or Ocala for inpatient rehab,” said Biri. “In our new unit, patients will receive highly intensive rehab care that cannot be done in an outpatient setting, with the goal to return to an independent and a self-supportive lifestyle.”
The fourth floor will be shelled for future growth. The structure supports an additional future expansion and could one day add two more floors, bringing the tower up to six floors.
The project was designed by Gresham, Smith and Partners of Jacksonville. Construction was completed by Robins & Morton of Orlando.
This project is the second largest investment in a healthcare facility in Lake County’s history – since AdventHealth Waterman’s Tavares campus was completed more than 15 years ago.