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Hardee County and Florida Hospital


Special to Highlands Today

Published: June 27, 2016

WAUCHULA Florida Hospital Wauchula, in partnership with Adventist Health System, the City of Wauchula, and the Hardee County Industrial Development Authority, celebrated the ground breaking of its new hospital benefitting the health and wellness of the Hardee County community.

The idea of a new health care facility for Wauchula has been a dream for many years, and is a long time coming, Bruce Bergherm said. Bergherm is president and CEO of Florida Hospital Hearltand.

Adventist Health System and Florida Hospital are investing heavily in Wauchula's future. Hand-in-hand with Hardee County, we will continue to ˜extend the healing ministry of Christ to our Heartland neighbors, he said.

Today is a great day for Hardee County. Florida Hospital's partnership helps us substantially; not only by providing great quality health care to our local community but also helping us to improve the landscape of economic development in a very visible way, Hardee County Industrial Development Authority Chair Vanessa Hernandez said. Building a $32 million hospital on State Road 17 in Hardee County is one of those game-changing events. We knew we could not let this opportunity pass, to have a multi-million-dollar health care facility with the quality and caliber that Florida Hospital brings. We will look back and say ˜that was a great decision.

Florida Hospital Wauchula has significant historical value to our community, and to me, said Florida Hospital Heartland Vice President and Wauchula Administrator Denise Grimsley.

Under Hardee Memorial Hospital, Grimsley volunteered as a candy striper in 1975. After high school she became a unit clerk in 1977 and continued to work as a registered nurse until 1991, before returning to Florida Hospital Wauchula in 2013. Grimsley is also a state senator representing District 21.

Wauchula Mayor Keith Nadasky Jr. announced, I'm very excited. This is the biggest event that's happened in my lifetime here in Wauchula. It's huge, and I'm ready to get started.

After performing a two-year cost analysis, Adventist Health System weighed the cost of the new hospital versus updates to the original facility. The ultramodern facility won approval and will open in 2017 at a new location on State Road 17, serving the same community it has for more than 20 years.

The new 50,000-square-foot facility will be similar in size to the current hospital with a 15-bed emergency department, 25-bed transitional care unit and extensive therapy rooms. The new hospital will feature a modern, healing environment for improved staff efficiency, more compassionate care and enhanced patient safety.

Each private in-patient room will feature an en-suite bathroom, refrigerator, microwave and personal safe. The hospital will also offer concierge services, a beauty salon and an activity room with a full kitchen, washer/dryer and large screen television for events.

Always focused on patient safety and comfort, Florida Hospital Wauchula will continue its award-winning reputation as a Top Rural Hospital offering critical access, the first designated in the state. This facility has won the coveted Leap Frog patient safety designation three years in a row.

The Florida Hospital Foundation in Wauchula has already kicked off its Advancing the Legacy fundraising campaign designed to complement and expand services in the new facility.

Hardee Memorial Hospital opened in 1970 but closed in the early 1990s, leaving Hardee County without emergency care. Seeing a great need for quality health care in rural Hardee County, Adventist Health System reopened the facility in 1994. Many improvements have been made throughout the years, such as lab enhancement and the new Linda Adler Mammography Suite, which has served more than 900 Hardee County women to date. After the new hospital opens, the original building will be evaluated for future use.


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