If you’ve driven out State Road 200 during the last few years, you’ve almost certainly seen the big crane at West Marion Community Hospital as expansions were taking place. In December 2017, four new operating suites were finished, as well as nine emergency room beds, bringing the total to 31. In March 2018, 44 new inpatient beds were added, and this March work was completed on 36 new inpatient rooms dedicated to orthopaedics services.
In May, the hospital announced that the expansions will continue, to the tune of $27 million and 13,000 additional square feet. This phase of expansion will bring a second catheterization lab, a recovery unit for the lab, two more large operating suites and additions to support areas like the kitchen and pharmacy. These updates are projected to be finished by fall 2020.
Chad Christianson, CEO of Ocala Health, says these services are based on the community’s needs and the most common treatments needed by patients in the area.
“The latest expansion at West Marion Community Hospital has been part of the plans for the last three years. These services—cath lab, pharmacy, OR, et cetera—were selected to expand upon because both the patient volume and service capabilities at West Marion have grown, especially cath and STEMI services,” Christianson says. “With this growth, there is a need for additional cath lab services. As we continue to expand on surgeries we excel at, such as ortho surgeries and more complex bariatric and spine surgeries at West Marion Community Hospital, additional space is needed to accommodate this growth.”
And, of course, making room for more patients requires meeting their other needs, too, like meals and medications.
“Additionally, as we add patient volume, areas such as the pharmacy need to expand to support overall operations. The continued investment in expansions at Ocala Health facilities allows us to provide the level of care our community needs. We look forward to continuing to grow so we can better serve Marion County and surrounding communities,” says Christianson.
Ocala Health has also announced plans to build a third freestanding emergency department off County Road 466A in The Villages as well as an additional expansion project at Ocala Regional Medical Center, slated to cost $31 million and add 36 inpatient beds dedicated to cardiovascular services.
“Ocala Health has seen expansive growth over the last few years,” Christianson says. “Whether we’re adding beds, services or new facilities, Ocala Health continues to grow so we can better care for our community.”