Setting a strong foundation

_mg_4099$27M expansion in works for LRMC

Groundbreaking on a $27 million project to expand Leesburg Regional Medical Center, a part of Central Florida Health, is slated to take place this month, according to Ted Williams, president of the LRMC Foundation.

“We want to finish it by December 2017,” he says.

The first floor of the three-story facility features 24 beds for the expansion of the emergency department; the second floor will be a 24-bed addition to the observation unit, and a third-floor shell is looking to the future that will convert to additional hospital beds—all part of another short-stay wing.

“We will have a cat walk that connects to the main hospital to the second floor where we can transfer patients over to surgery or intensive care unit, and that is where our critical care is now on the second floor,” Ted says.

He credits foundation donors for being supportive of the capital campaign for the expansion.

“We do have a family that committed $10 million toward this project, and it’s a dollar-for-dollar match, so that gives us $20 million out of $27 million to reach our goal,” Ted says.

He notes the foundation is vital to the hospital’s success.

“We appreciate all of the support of the community, and without the support, it would be impossible to construct our facilities, such as the expansion of the emergency department,” Ted says, adding some 48,000 patients visited the Leesburg ER last year alone—a higher number than ever before.

“The need continues to increase because of the expansion of The Villages, and there are more and more moving closer to Fruitland Park, and it’s a shorter drive for those residents to come to Leesburg,” Ted says. “We’re trying to provide a bigger, faster, and better facility to move patients quicker and to treat them and to either admit them as in-patients or to release them to go home. The new facility can handle the patient load.”

Two years ago LRMC embarked on the capital campaign for a 24-bed expansion of the observation unit on the hospital’s first floor of Leesburg; more than $3 million was raised for that project.

“The community is really behind us, and they support Leesburg Hospital as their hospital,” Ted says, adding recent proof was the majority of voters who cast ballots for approval for North Lake County Hospital District to continue providing charitable care to North Lake patients in need.

To learn more about the LRMC Foundation, call 352.323.5500.