RIVERVIEW - Anyone driving along Big Bend Road lately can tell you there's a lot going on between Lincoln and Simmons Loop roads. Construction of St. Joseph's Hospital South is well under way, and the doors of the campus' new Physician Office Building are about to open.
BayCare Health System is spending $237 million to develop the 72-acre site, which includes a 90-bed, full-service, acute care hospital; an attached, three-story Medical Office Building; and the two-story, standalone office building.
Scheduled to open July 1, the latter will house BayCare Outpatient Imaging, BayCare Laboratories and HealthPoint Medical Group's Patient-Centered Medical Home.
Longtime Apollo Beach physician Frederick Taylor, D.O., is moving his 16-year HealthPoint practice and some of his staff to the new center.
"I will be the first primary-care physician in the building, which has room for four," he said. "I'm excited to be part of HealthPoint's new Patient-Centered Medical Home, where we will be providing complete medical care, ongoing education and follow-up."
That's the idea, said Nikki Cichanski, transition coordinator for HealthPoint.
"Patients will receive better care from their primary care team," she said, adding that eventually three specialists will rotate through the facility.
The upper floor of the POB includes hospital-sponsored time-share space where physicians who want to be in that location just one day each week can lease space. There also is regular office space for lease.
The imaging center will offer high field, open MRIs, CT scans, X-rays, mammograms, ultrasounds and bone-density testing using the latest technology available. A new palm vein scanner will allow patients to check in once and never have to again, unless their records need to be updated.
Again, all features and services are geared to patient comfort and privacy.
"BayCare has a very strong core values, and we live them," said Cathy Howze, imaging services manager. "We want to come into the community and become part of it."
Everything is on schedule, said Paula McGuiness, lead planner and president of St. Joseph's Hospital North, the first satellite hospital built in 2010. South Shore's northern counterpart served as a model and generated about "600 lessons learned," she said.
"We looked at every single thing, from door locks to the water-softening system to workflow design," she said. "And we're incorporating it all into the new hospital."
St. Joseph's South will not mirror St. Joseph's North, however.
While alike in many respects, the new hospital has a different design, larger site, more beds and newer technology, said Lisa Patterson, St. Joseph's communications manager.
"Everything is designed for patient comfort," she said. "It will have the look and feel of a luxury hotel."
BayCare currently is recruiting a president for the new hospital and will look at hiring an operations team later this year.
Throughout 2014, the company will be hiring staff members for about 500 new jobs, which will be posted on an active job board at www.BayCarejobs.com.
Meanwhile, the exterior of the hospital is nearing completion.
Workers are installing windows in the Medical Office Building and adding the roof to seal the building so that interior work can begin. Underground piping for plumbing will be placed shortly so the hospital's first-floor slab can be poured.
A central energy plant to house back-up generators and water cooling equipment is being built.
Recent rains are filling a 6-acre, 20-foot-deep man-made lake that will be visible to some patients.
BayCare is paying $2.6 million to install a traffic light at the intersection of Simmons Loop and Big Bend roads and make improvements to both.
BayCare Health System is a network of 10 not-for-profit hospitals, outpatient facilities and other health services.
When it opens in early 2015, St. Joseph's Hospital South will become part of BayCare's Community Health Alliance, which in Hillsborough County includes 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.