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New Patient Tower Built to Fight Infections

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Abe Aboraya
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Orlando Health will start seeing patients January 26 at a brand new tower.

It boasts more natural light, bigger rooms and more space. But other improvements could help to reduce potentially deadly infections patients can get in hospital.

Vascular surgeon Jon Wesley said the goal is zero infections. He points to all-private rooms with sinks for hand-washing that can help.

“So anything we can do extra, even though I think we’ve done a good job in the floors we were in before, I think we’ll do a better job here,” Wesley said. “That’s the hope. And certainly this sets us up. The proof will be in what our numbers look like.”

An estimated 75,000 people die each year from hospital acquired infections in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The $297 million expansion includes 245 private beds, said Mark Jones, president of Orlando Regional Medical Center.

“The next phase will open up in about a month and a half, and that’s an expansion of our emergency department, so we’re going to be increasing or capacity there by about a third, we’re also going to be adding new operating rooms and a cardiovascular diagnostic areas,” Jones said. “So that comes online very soon.”

Abe Aboraya is a reporter with WMFEin Orlando. WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.