South Lake Hospital Adds 18 In-Patient Beds, 30-Bed Rehab Unit

CLERMONT — As more people continue to move to south Lake, more hospital visits are inevitable.

The increasing population prompted action by South Lake Hospital, which recently added 18 in-patient beds and also opened a 30-bed rehabilitation unit. Founded in 1947 when south Lake was a rural outpost, the hospital now has 170 licensed beds.

“The south Lake County community is continuing to see growth and our responsibility is to ensure our facilities and services continue to meet the health-care needs of those we serve,” said John Moore, hospital president. “This new unit, along with our other recent expansions allow us to provide quality patient care in the right setting for each patient.”

Clermont, Lake’s largest city, saw its population increase 10.4 percent between 2010 and 2014 to more than 31,000, according to the state Office of Economic and Demographic Research. The growth rate in Groveland during the period was even more dramatic —nearly 21 percent. The city’s population exceeds 10,500, figures show.

Recently completed South Lake Hospital projects also include the renovation of the emergency department triage area, the addition of a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) suite located inside the hospital and cardiac-rehabilitation services.

Hospital representatives said the hospital last year saw more than 50,000 patients in the emergency department and the additional in-patient beds and improvements will help accommodate anticipated ER visits, admissions and more.

Tracey Meyers, South Lake Hospital medical-surgical unit nurse manager, said the nursing staff was fortunate to work closely with hospital administration throughout the expansion process — from inception to design — and were able to make recommendations based on their day-to-day expertise.

“Spacious private rooms, a lot of natural light and unique features like our call-light system offer different call-buttons for the patient,” Meyers said. “There is a button if they need help using the restroom, one for requesting water, one for pain and a general call-button. This allows our team members to identify the need and act quickly to help the patient.”

The new short-term rehab facility, called the SkyTop View Rehabilitation Center, features private rooms equipped with a large bathroom, internet access, natural light and plenty of room for loved ones to visit. The primary focus is on orthopedic patients and features a large rehab room with mock kitchen and dining room, an activities center, outdoor mobility garden, outdoor putting green and specialized equipment to prepare patients for their return to daily activities at home.

Moore said another positive impact from the expansion is the addition of about 80 new jobs.

The hospital, affiliated with the Orlando Health Care System, has 1,100 employees and more than 200 physicians on its medical staff at its LiveWell Campus at 1900 Don Wickham Drive.