My wife Liz and I recently accompanied a friend who had out-patient surgery at Sarasota Memorial Hospital and while waiting, we thought back to all the changes we have witnessed over the last 50 years.
Liz was a ‘Candy Striper’ volunteer as a teenager and this experience helped to shape her career choices. I remember visiting SMH as a kid with a friend whose mom was executive secretary to the director.
Back then the hospital was much smaller but as kids, it seemed huge to us! Liz and I remember it when there were only five stories. It has grown so much that they now have volunteers just to help you find your way!
From modest beginnings in 1925 as a 32 bed hospital to the teaching hospital and vast network of specialty care it offers today, Sarasota Memorial Health Hospital has come a long way since I was a kid. Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is the second-largest acute care public health system in Florida, with about 5,000 staff, 900+ physicians, 600 volunteers and about 500,000 ER, inpatient and outpatient visits a year. With an 806-bed acute care hospital and comprehensive network of outpatient services – pain care, rehabilitation, diagnostic imaging and laboratory, home health and a nursing home among its many services. It is the only hospital in Southwest Florida that has ranked repeatedly among U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals,” the only one recognized among “America’s Safest Large Hospitals” by Forbes and the only one awarded Magnet Nursing Services Recognition – the nation’s highest honor for excellence in nursing.
Over the years, we have watched all the additions, demolitions and growth – we lost some of our favorite restaurants along US 41 as the complex grew, (Sugar and Spice Amish restaurant was great!) but it was well worth it to know we now have one of the best health care systems available right here in Sarasota. And the expansion is not over yet! By 2020, Sarasota Memorial Hospital hopes to have a new $220 million cancer treatment facility and a $12 million parking garage built at its midtown campus.
If you are considering moving to Sarasota, Florida, rest assured you will have fantastic health care - from the best doctors and the BEST hospital. And when you are ready to buy that home in the Sarasota area, call me and I will tell you some stories of growing up in a great town!