The $24 million, 23,500-square-foot UF Health Surgical Center – The Oaks boasts five operating rooms, a waiting room and a family consult room, in addition to 19 pre-op and post-anesthesia care units. A bright and beautiful image of Little Talbot Island State Park near Jacksonville adorns one entire side of the waiting and check-in area.
The opening of UF Health Surgical Center – The Oaks will allow physicians to perform a range of procedures at one location, where previously they had been handled at several different sites throughout UF Health. For ophthalmology, those include dropless and laser cataract surgery, retina surgery, ophthalmic plastic surgery, ocular cancer surgery, corneal transplants, intraocular miniature telescope for macular degeneration, and glaucoma surgery.
“Having the surgical center co-located with our practice is really nice for the patients and staff,” said Sonal S. Tuli, M.D., chair of the UF College of Medicine’s department of ophthalmology. “And since the practice is optimized for eye and ENT, all the staff will be be very familiar with surgeries involving those specialties, unlike other operating rooms where you have multiple specialties working. That makes it more efficient and benefits the patient.”
She noted that being located at The Oaks Mall means patients and their loved ones can take advantage of food and shopping opportunities.
Common ENT and allergy procedures that will now be accessible to patients at UF Health Surgical Center – The Oaks include tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, ear tube procedures and sinus surgeries.
Patrick J. Antonelli, M.D., chair of the UF College of Medicine’s department of otolaryngology, said consolidating services in one location provides efficiencies that benefit the care of patients.
“This is all about the patient, about doing things that are patient-centric,” Antonelli said. “Having radiology, lab, the practice and the OR in one location really helps our patients. They don’t have to drive all over town for different services. It’s especially helpful for patients who come from rural Florida, Georgia, Alabama and so forth. They very much appreciate having something that’s very convenient to the interstate. It’s a real boon for them.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, all patients and visitors to the facility are asked to wear a face mask and are screened upon entering. That process includes a few brief questions and the taking of everyone’s temperature upon entering.