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Lakeland Regional Eyes Expansion, Teaching Hospital

Lakeland Regional Medical Center
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Lakeland Regional Medical Center is embarking on a two-year building spree.

The independent, non-profit hospital will close on $180 million in tax-exempt bonds Thursday to pay for $297 million in construction over the next two years.

The hospital, located off Interstate 4 between Tampa and Orlando, will add a new eight-story women and children’s pavilion, expand its emergency department and build an inpatient rehab center. Since 2000, the city of Lakeland’s population has jumped 25 percent, just shy of 100,000 residents.

Lakeland Regional officials said they also are exploring becoming a teaching hospital for up to 250 new medical residencies a year.

In 2012, the hospital announced a high-profile partnership with the medical school at the University of South Florida. That deal, however, has failed to materialize after the departure of former USF Health leader Dr. Stephen Klasko.

Lakeland Regional is the third largest private employer in Lakeland, behind Wal-Mart and Publix.

Check here to see more details of the plans. 

Reporter Abe Aboraya is part of WMFE in Orlando. Health News Florida 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.