A new hospital for Jacksonville

A new hospital for Jacksonville

Shands Jax seeks state approval for new hospital on city’s Northside

By Dan Leveton

A rendering of Shands Jacksonville North

Jacksonville’s Northside could soon be another home for UF&Shands.

In August, Shands Jacksonville submitted a letter of intent to file a Certificate of Need application with the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration to construct a hospital in north Jacksonville, the city’s fastest growing area. The hospital will be called Shands Jacksonville North.

“This move represents the long-term commitment of UF&Shands to the Jacksonville community as we seek to ensure area residents have access to the health care they need,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of the UF&Shands Health System. “Our academic health center continues to serve a vital role in the community. In addition to promoting high-quality care, we are advancing research discoveries and providing a boost to economic development in the area, while the UF College of Medicine helps to train the next generation of physicians. The new facility will help us continue to deliver top-notch health care to an even larger number of patients.”

The new 110-bed facility will be located at the northeast corner of Interstate 95 and Duval Road. Shands Jacksonville purchased the land in 2007 to construct a medical office building with outpatient services and a hospital. The first phase of construction will include a medical office building that houses UF faculty and both primary care and specialty physician practices as well as diagnostic, ambulatory and urgent care services, and outpatient surgery. A Certificate of Need is not required for this phase of development.

The population of north Jacksonville has grown 22 percent in the past decade, 50 percent faster than the rest of Duval and Nassau counties. As the population continues to rise, so does the need for a hospital to serve this growing area. Shands Jacksonville North will provide greater access to more health care services for these residents, as well as those living in surrounding communities.

“North Jacksonville is currently home to almost 145,000 residents. Shands Jacksonville North will offer them many of the same quality health care services available on Shands Jacksonville’s downtown campus,” said Jim Burkhart, president and CEO of Shands Jacksonville.

The full-service community hospital will include all-private rooms, an emergency department, obstetrics, general surgery and ancillary services such as imaging, laboratory and outpatient rehabilitation.

“Shands Jacksonville North anticipates both UF and community physicians working collaboratively to offer patients greater access to the latest treatments and technologies closer to their homes,” said Robert C. Nuss, M.D., dean of the regional campus at the University of Florida College of Medicine-Jacksonville.

Estimated cost at this point for the new hospital is approximately $125 million, which will be funded through philanthropy, retained earnings and bond financing. Construction could be completed within three years following approval from the state.

“The development of Shands Jacksonville North represents a significant investment in the community, and once fully operational is expected to generate around 350 new jobs,” Burkhart said. “The hospital will have an ongoing impact to the economy with recurring supply and equipment purchases.”