By Rachel Christian

Staff Writer

Florida Hospital Kissimmee broke ground on Thursday on a new 27,000 square-foot surgical suite that will add four high-tech operating rooms to its Orange Blossom Trail facility.

The news is the latest of several key announcements – including a name change and rebranding effort – that coincide the hospital’s 25th anniversary in Kissimmee this month.

A major expansion

Operating rooms in the new expansion – which broke ground during a recent special ceremony — will feature state-of-the-art lighting, cameras, recording capabilities and robotic services. Hospital officials said robotics are considered a high-tech tool used in modern operating rooms to perform less invasive procedures that allow patients to recover faster and go home sooner.

The surgical suite will replace and expand older operating facilities that officials said are located in an inconvenient, less accessible part of the hospital.

The first wall on the $26 million project went up this week and construction is expected to finish September 2019.

A new name – AdventHealth

On Aug. 14, Florida Hospital announced it would change its name to AdventHealth as part of a larger national rebranding effort by its parent company, Adventist Health Systems.

Headquartered in Altamonte Springs, Adventist Health System is a nonprofit health care organization that operates 47 hospitals and hundreds of urgent care centers in nine Southern and Midwest states. The name change is set to take effect Jan. 2.

Hospital executives and members of its marketing team said the new name is not a result of any merger or acquisition, but rather an effort to unify and streamline the company’s brand image nationwide.

“With a single name, people will realize that the care they get here will be the same kind of care they get from, let’s say, one of our facilities in Chicago,” said Florida Hospital Kissimmee CEO Sheila Rankin.

As part of the brand announcement, the organization unveiled new initiatives including plans to roll out digital platforms that will allow consumers to access their medical records, make appointments, pay bills and have a virtual doctor’s visit.

The company also it plans to add spiritual survey questions to labs, CentraCare centers and other outpatient facilities.

According to a press release, physicians are being trained on how to ask patients four core questions including, “Do you have a source of joy in your life?” as part of the company’s “wholeness screening program” focused on treating a person’s mind, body and spirit.

According to Rankin, if a patient seems lonely or in need of spiritual guidance based on the survey questions, a physician may follow up to see if he or she wants to speak with a chaplain.

Adventist Health Systems is run by the Seventh Day Adventist Church and is the largest not-for-profit Protestant health care provider in the country.

One of many new additions

The surgical expansion in Kissimmee is the latest addition to continued growth at the Kissimmee hospital, one that mirrors the surrounding community’s booming population.

In 2014, Florida Hospital Kissimmee opened an expanded emergency room, followed by an 80-bed patient tower in 2015 and a catheter lab in 2016.

An on-site retail pharmacy is set to debut at the end of the year.

Celebrating 25 years in Kissimmee

August marks Florida Hospital Kissimmee’s 25th anniversary at its location on Orange Blossom Trail.

A lot has happened in Osceola County since 1993, including a major spike in population.

The number of patient admissions and ER visits doubled at Florida Hospital Kissimmee from 2010 to 2017, according to David Breen, corporate communications director.

Over the years, Florida Hospital has partnered with local organizations like the Osceola County Council on Aging and Community Vision to bring support to residents.

After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, the hospital organized a collaborative community drive for goods and supplies. It eventually gathered about seven cargo containers of 75 tons of supplies, which it sent by boat to the island.

Florida Hospital will soon celebrate another milestone in Osceola County this year when its Celebration location turns 20 years old in October.

For Rankin, the latest series of events and announcement are a sign of positive things to come for the growing facility.

“We are proud of our 25-year legacy of bringing whole-person health to the people of Osceola County,” said Rankin. “This expansion positions us to continue that care well into the future.”