AHCA Approves Two Venice Hospitals



The Venice area will likely see two new hospitals open up soon. The state Agency for Health Care Administration on Monday issues certificate of need approvals for Sarasota Memorial Hospital to open a 90-bed acute care facility on Laurel Road and for Venice Regional Bayfront Health to open a replacement hospital on East Venice Avenue a quarter mile from its existing location.

“This is a win-win-win for our entire region,” said Sarasota Memorial CEO David Verinder. “Patients from south county who now have to drive to our main campus soon will be able to obtain care at a new state-of-the-art hospital…  In addition, the new facility will bring our extensive physician base further south, which will support our efforts to establish a future hospital in North Port as well.”

At Venice Regional, leaders say they have needed to replace the 312-bed acute care hospital for some time. “It’s an older building,” said Bob Hite, Venice Regional marketing director. “We’ve put $30 million into it but we need a replacement hospital.”

Bob Moore, Venice Region CEO, says the certificate of need approval allows the hospital to continue providing the chief care to regional patients. “As our community’s hometown hospital, Venice Regional has a long history of caring for our friends and neighbors, and we are excited to continue that tradition in a new facility,” he says.

The two hospitals have at times been in legal conflict over each one’s plans to serve Venice. Either hospital could appeal the certificate of need approval in the next 30 days. But Kim Savage, Sarasota Memorial media public information officer, says the Sarasota hospital has no plans to do so. Hate said he could not speculate on whether Venice Regional would appeal.

Sarasota Memorial officials say it will take about three years to build the new hospital. The hospital already has hired Laurel Road President Sharon Roush to lead efforts to open the new facility, which hospital officials say will be the most significant addition in Sarasota Memorial’s 93-year history.

Venice Regional expects to break ground this year or in early 2019, and projects its new hospital will open in early 2021.

Pictured: Sarasota Memorial Hospital final site plan for planned Laurel Road hospital.

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