BayCare announces plans to replace St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa
Hospital officials say the new facility is needed to account for growth in the area and to keep up with the latest medical advances.
BayCare has announced plans to build a new children's hospital in Tampa by 2030. The nonprofit hospital system will replace St. Joseph's Children's Hospital with a state-of-the-art facility on the same campus.
The children's hospital has seen its patient numbers grow over the past few years creating a "pivotal point for pediatrics," according to Sarah Naumowich, president of St. Joseph's Children's and St. Joseph's Women's hospitals.
She said children in the community deserve the new hospital.
As the largest pediatric care provider in West Central Florida, Naumowich said BayCare has a responsibility to provide the most up-to-date services and medical technology to patients.
"We know that medicine continues to evolve, technology continues to evolve (and) clinical innovation. We want to make sure that we are set up for the future for all of that to happen locally in our community," she said. "We'll be very focused on making sure that we have all of our programs and our care delivery to match up with that innovation."
St. Joseph's Children's Hospital has 219 patient beds — Naumowich said the plans will expand capacity.
One goal of the project is to keep local patients from having to travel out of the area for the care they need, she said.
"We're committed to seeing not only that the local children can remain local, but really looking at services where people are traveling outside of the community," Naumowich said. "It's really important for (St. Joseph's) to continue to evolve and bring those services locally."
BayCare plans to grow the pediatric residency program at St. Joseph's as well.
In addition to the new children's hospital, the project will extend beyond the main campus into specialty clinics around the region.
"We'll be continuing to add more and more services and specialties to those over the next several years," Naumowich said, "as well as looking into the future to see if there are new locations that we need to add (for) that type of local support.”
The cost is not yet known because the new hospital is still in the early planning stage, but Naumowich said it will be a "significant investment."
A campaign to raise money for the new building will soon begin through St. Joseph's Hospitals Foundation.
The children's facility will be the nonprofit's fourth new hospital project in the past five years, including the recent announcement to build a hospital in Manatee County, according to a press release.
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