Babcock Ranch Partners With Tampa General For New Health Care Hub

Babcock Ranch Health Care Hub Rendering 760x320

In creating a new town based on sustainability and having everything a family needs in close proximity, it’s no surprise Babcock Ranch needs health care options. Right now, residents say it’s lacking big time. But that won’t be the case this time next year.

Tampa General Hospital is partnering with Babcock’s developer Kitson & Partners to bring a new level of health care to the growing community.

“There are so many things we have to do here in building a new town that that we don’t do at Kitson & Partners,” said Tom Hoban, Chief Investment Officer for Kitson & Partners. ” So, we focus on where’s our expertise? What can we do and do well, and what part of our vision that we need to fulfill do we not do?”

With only a small primary care office in the city center, backlogged and delayed trying to serve over ten thousand people, leaders heard the cry for more.

“We heard, you know, we need more medical, we need more health care,” Hoban said. “For us, bringing services to Babcock Ranch is about a sustainable lifestyle, and if all of our homeowners have to drive 20 to 45 minutes away to get services they need their daily needs? We’re not fulfilling our promise as a developer to bring sustainability about that, right. That’s an inconvenience to people’s lifestyle, that’s an extra carbon footprint to drive 20 to 30 minutes versus driving two miles to get a job [done.]”

Residents say right now, they drive to Punta Gorda, Naples or even Sarasota for care.

“It’s a good 30, 40 minutes anywhere,” Larry Wilson said.

“And that’s why we’re so happy that Tom and Syd had reached out to us,” Adam Smith said.

He’s the Executive Vice President & Chief Ambulatory Care Officer at Tampa General. TGH is in the process of bringing a 6,500 sq. ft. urgent care facility to the community off SR-31.

“Really the first step is you’d love to like build a hospital and build all these services and we’re talking about that for the future. But you have to start somewhere and what is what type of service can we meet the bulk of the community’s needs in a single location,” Smith explained. “So, it’s really tough to sort of figure out how do you do that? So, urgent care is really the ideal opportunity. They’re open for extended hours. It basically can provide primary care services and then sports injuries… it is really the right place to start and then to build off of from there.”

Construction is well under way for the facility, and it should be opening in April 2025. You can find the building near the Publix property. Across the construction yard, among retail space, Tampa General announced they’ll basically double the square footage of their facility by taking over part of another building.

What they’ll put in that space is still up in the air. They want to first know what residents want. Is there a need for a lab or specialists?

Babcock Ranch leadership, along with Tampa General executives, set up a workshop where over 200 residents signed up to share their thoughts.

“We really want people to think outside the box, not what health care is delivered today and let’s make it better, let’s build it new,” Smith said as he prepared to present to Babcock residents. “What can we really do different and really meet your needs?”

“So instead of guessing, which is kind of what we do on our own, you know, why not bring in the actual customer and ask them questions and try to get them to provide us a feedback loop on this?” Hoban added.

We went straight to the people most invested in the project, and asked what they want to see.

“They know what we need, and they go out and get it. I mean, it’s wonderful. Wonderful,” Deb Kapchus said. “I think they need regular physicians here, x-ray machines here. And like my husband had a kidney transplant, so we need some good feedback on transplants.”

“The people want certain specialties. We need orthopedics, we need urology,” Barbara Lutsky added.

“We’d love to be able to do all of our hospital and all the clinical things right here instead of getting out on SR-31 and getting out on I-75 and trying to get to doctor’s offices,” Arnie Eastman chimed in. “That’s really a key point for us.”

Not only will these new health care facilities be a great opportunity for the 55,000 people expected to live in Babcock Ranch by the time they’re done building. It could be a game changer for the people living near the solar-powered community too. This could be the new closest medical complex for them.

Leaders for the companies say they’re kindred spirits. They teach. They innovate, and they care for everyone, every day.

Source:  NBC-2

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