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Shands Jacksonville to build new hospital

Shands Jacksonville says its request to build a new medical campus in north Jacksonville has been approved by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.

Shands Jacksonville had filed the "certificate-of-need" application earlier this year, seeking the state’s approval to move forward with the project. With the AHCA decision, Shands said it is now setting a timetable to begin construction of the facility at Interstate 95 and Duval Road and will announce its plans and a schedule in the near future.

“We would like to thank the state for accepting our proposal to serve the growing health care needs of the north Jacksonville community,” Dr. David S. Guzick, senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of the UF&Shands Health System, said in a press release.

“As we have said previously, this decision by UF&Shands represents a long-term commitment to the residents of the growing region, and they will be well-served by the high-quality care offered by Shands.”

The 100-bed facility will be located at the northeast corner of I-95 and Duval Road. Shands Jacksonville acquired the land with the intent to construct a medical office building with outpatient services and a hospital. The first phase of construction will include an ambulatory services and medical office building that houses community and University of Florida physician practices. Projected services will include primary care, specialty physician practices, diagnostic services, urgent care and outpatient surgery.

Estimated cost at this point for the hospital portion of the project is $125 million, which will be funded through philanthropy, retained earnings and bond financing. Construction could be completed within three to five years.

Carol Gentry, founder and special correspondent of Health News Florida, has four decades of experience covering health finance and policy, with an emphasis on consumer education and protection.