The system broke ground on the new $246M facility in December 2020. And BayCare has other building projects underway.
More than two years after construction began, BayCare Hospital Wesley Chapel has opened its doors and is now accepting patients.
With the opening of the new facility on Florida’s west-central coast, BayCare Health System is now operating 16 hospitals in the Sunshine State. BayCare spent $246 million to build the 86-bed, 318,000-square-foot hospital.
Stephanie Conners, BayCare CEO and president, said the new hospital will offer needed services to area residents. Wesley Chapel, a community of about 60,000, is a suburb of Tampa Bay.
"We're thrilled to open our 16th hospital in the heart of Wesley Chapel," Conners said in a statement. "This facility will expand access to convenient and high-quality care and address the needs of that growing community."
The hospital’s features include an emergency department, an intensive care unit with virtual-monitoring beds, surgical services, and diagnostic services. The system says it has hired hundreds of employees for the new hospital.
"We can't believe the day has come," Rebecca Schulkowski, president of BayCare Hospital Wesley Chapel, said in a statement. "We are proud of our team and grateful to everyone who has welcomed us to this community. We are eager to help serve patients and their families and meet their health care needs."
BayCare says the new hospital will offer more convenience to some of its existing patients, and will give other options to other consumers who aren’t already using the system’s services.
Even after opening a new hospital, BayCare isn’t done building.
The system is building a new hospital to replace South Florida Baptist Hospital in Plant City. The new $326 million hospital, which will have 146 private rooms and two six-story towers, is expected to open by early 2024.
BayCare said last July that it plans to build a new hospital in Manatee County. The system’s 17th hospital is expected to open by the end of 2025.
Florida became the fastest growing state in the country in 2022, according to U.S. Census bureau population estimates. With a population of 22.2 million, Florida is also the nation’s third most populous state.
Hospitals and health systems that are fortunate enough to be in fast-growing areas, such as Florida, are poised to perform well during a difficult time for the industry, Kevin Holloran, senior director and sector leader for the non-for-profit healthcare group at Fitch Ratings, said in a conference call with the media in January.