Hillsborough County's largest hospital group is about to get even larger, as BayCare Health System clears land for a new community hospital in Riverview.
St. Joseph's South will join five other St. Joseph's hospitals in the county that provide full-service, acute care, said Lisa Patterson, St. Joseph's communications manager. When completed in 2015, the Riverview site will be the second satellite hospital BayCare has built since 2010, when St. Joseph's North opened in Lutz.
"Adding these two new hospitals expands BayCare into areas that we had very little presence in," Patterson said. "These will be important growth markets, as well as part of a clinically integrated network.
"Scale is important and will become more so in the future, especially as we prepare for imminent changes in the health-care industry."
The $225 million St. Joseph's South medical complex is being built on 72 acres off Interstate 75 at Big Bend and Simmons Loop roads.
Along with the 90-bed hospital, the campus will include an attached medical arts building and a standalone physicians' office building.
"Our new neighbors are ready for high-quality health care close to home, and we look forward to serving them," said Paula McGuiness, lead planner and chief operating officer of St. Joseph's Hospital North.
Community leaders said the hospital is a welcome addition.
"This is exciting news for the entire South Shore community," said Tanya Doran, executive director of the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce. "The hospital will bring about 500 new jobs to be filled with many long-term career professionals and future community residents.
"It will also bring other medical professionals and supporting organizations, all of which will add to the success of this vibrant and growing area. And the competition of another area hospital will only serve to improve the level of medical care area residents deserve."
BayCare won approval to build St. Joseph's Hospital-South in 2009 after a four-year battle with HCA.
Construction of the four-story 325,000-square-foot hospital will begin in the fall, along with construction of an attached three-story 80,000-square-foot medical arts building.
South Shore's first nonprofit hospital will have a 30-bed emergency room, 16-bed intensive care unit, 14-bed labor and delivery unit and 22 rooms for patients needing observation. It's being modeled after the St. Joseph's hospital in Lutz.
All patients will have private rooms with in-room family areas and full bathrooms.
"St. Joseph's Hospital South will be an all-digital, state-of-the-art facility that will provide an exceptional patient experience," McGuiness said.
"We've designed it with the patient and caregiver in mind. Patients will enjoy a relaxing environment while smart workflow design will enhance successful clinical operations," McGuiness said.
The hospital also will have a helipad, so patients with more serious medical emergencies can be flown to St. Joseph's main campus in Tampa.
Meanwhile, BayCare will build a 40,000-square-foot physicians' office building, scheduled to open next spring, to give doctors the opportunity to establish practices near the new hospital.
"St. Joseph's has a great track record and did a good job with its hospital to the north," said Stephen Zweibach, an obstetrician and gynecologist with offices in Brandon and Riverview.
"Doctors will be happy to have the opportunity to have concentrated medical services here where they're needed," Zweibach said.
Hospital officials expect to draw patients from Riverview, Gibsonton, Apollo Beach, Ruskin, Sun City Center, Wimauma, Lithia, southern Brandon, Valrico and southeast Tampa.
St. Joseph's South will join St. Joseph's, St. Joseph's Children's and St. Joseph's Women's hospitals in Tampa; St. Joseph's Hospital North and South Florida Baptist Hospital in Plant City as part of BayCare's Community Health Alliance.
Right now, BayCare has no other expansion plans in Hillsborough County, Patterson said.