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Gainesville’s Health Care Earns Top Marks Nationally and At Home

Gainesville hospitals garner national attention for standout health care

By Kari Kynard Ridge on November 17, 2017

Gainesville, FL
Gainesville / Courtesy of Mindy C. Miller

Health care facilities in the Gainesville region are attracting notice from far beyond North Central Florida for their high level of care and expertise in a range of specialties.

University of Florida Health, which has campuses in Gainesville and Jacksonville, is among the most comprehensive health systems in the Southeast. UF Health Shands Hospital and its Children’s Hospital were recently named among the nation’s top hospitals in both adult and pediatric medical specialties by U.S. News & World Report.

The UF Health Shands Hospital is recognized in 2017-2018 for six specialties including diabetes and endocrinology, geriatrics, gynecology, neurology and neurosurgery, nephrology and pulmonology. The hospital operates a 192-bed Cancer Hospital, is one of four regional burn centers in the state and is designated as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. It operates a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and a Level I Trauma Center that treats more than 2,000 patients each year.

Home to one of the busiest pediatric heart transplant centers in the country, UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital was recently ranked among the nation’s best pediatric hospitals in six medical specialties by U.S. News & World Report, including its pediatric cardiology and heart surgery, cancer, neonatology, and neurology and neurosurgery programs.

“UF Health Shands faculty and staff are working with great dedication every day to meet the pressing health care needs of our patients, and we’re pleased that U.S. News is recognizing the high quality of care we provide,” says Dr. Michael L. Good, dean of the UF College of Medicine.

A rehab hospital, a psychiatric hospital, several outpatient rehab centers that specialize in adult and pediatric services and a sports rehabilitation team are also operated by UF Health Shands, as well as the UF Health Florida Recovery Center, with inpatient and outpatient services, and a home-care division that serves 17 counties. In late 2017, the UF Health Neuro-medicine Hospital and the UF Health Heart and Vascular Hospital were scheduled to open in a new building.

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Cutting-Edge Care

The UF Health Science Center conducts cutting-edge research in areas such as new cancer treatments, genetics, biotechnologies and studies of the brain and aging, and generates 52 percent of the university’s total research awards. The HSC is the country’s only academic health center with six health-related colleges located on a single contiguous campus.

Nine major health-related research institutes operate out of the University of Florida, including the Genetics Institute and the McKnight Brain Institute. In total, they have launched more than 4,200 clinical research studies in the past four years.

Gainesville’s other major health care provider, North Florida Regional Healthcare, is an organization centered around the North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainesville and the Lake City Medical Center.

A member of HCA, the nation’s largest for-profit hospital system, North Florida Regional Healthcare is a 432-bed, full-service medical and surgical acute care center that is experiencing tremendous growth and implementing new technologies. In addition to offering services such as comprehensive cardiovascular care, oncology, women’s health, robotic surgery, TAVR minimally invasive heart valve surgery program, neurosciences and orthopedics, the hospital has become known for its high-quality emergency services.

An 11,200-square-foot full-service, free-standing emergency department opened in West Gainesville in 2017. The $10.5 million project features 10 new 24/7 full-service emergency rooms and is expected to serve more than 12,000 patients each year. A dedicated pediatrics section is in the emergency room on the main campus. Another emergency facility is scheduled to be constructed in the Millhopper area by the end of 2017, says Bradley Palmer, North Florida Regional director of marketing.

One of the largest private employers in the area, North Florida Regional expanded its behavioral health department from 22 to 33 beds. Its Comprehensive Stroke Center brings patients to the hospital from near and far. The community hospital has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report for its high-performing gynecology program, and its neurosurgery and cardiology programs are considered among the best in the state, says John Gerhold, the health system’s chief operating officer. North Florida Health was recognized in 2017 as among the nation’s top 100 hospitals by Truven Health Analytics, a health care data and analytics solutions service.

“NFRMC is committed to the care and improvement of human life and is proud to be Gainesville’s community hospital of choice,” says Gerhold. “We continue to provide excellent healthcare to the community.”

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