VENICE – South County residents will soon be able to choose from two –new state of the art hospitals in Venice with an administrative law judge clearing the way for both Sarasota Memorial and Venice Regional to build hospitals in the city after 9 months of deliberation.

Sarasota Memorial Hospital CEO David Verinder says this will help them meet patient’s needs.

“I’d say 40% of the patients that are in this hospital come from what we would traditionally think of as South County,” Verinder said. “And people have been having to drive anywhere from 45 min to an hour and a half any time they needed to utilize our services.”

Sarasota Memorial’s hospital will be built on Laurel Road and have 90 patient beds.

“It will have a full- service emergency room,” Verinder said. “It will have OR suites, it will have medical and surgical beds, it will have an ICU, it will have all the diagnostics.”

It will also have the areas first mother-baby unit. Verinder says the expansion could also help lower wait times at the Sarasota Campus which is usually near capacity.

“It will lower the census that’s here and really allow us to take care of patients here each and every day.”

Venice Regional’s new facility will replace their aging hospital on City Island.

In a statement hospital officials say,

“Venice Regional Bayfront Health is pleased the administrative law judge recommended our application be approved by the state. The need for a replacement hospital was well-documented, undisputed and strongly supported by the community.”

David Verinder says the recommendation for approval of both facilities shows the need in the community.

“This is a very fast growing community,” Verinder said. “Both in North and South County in Sarasota, I think we both realize that. I think the judge has recognized that as well, and I don’t think that’s going to stop any time soon.”

Both Hospitals still need final approval from the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

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