UF&Shands Jacksonville officials announced today that plans to begin construction of a new medical complex in northern Duval County will continue despite a decision by a state administrative judge today approving an appeal filed by Memorial Hospital.
"While we are disappointed in the court's ruling," said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for health affairs at the University of Florida and president of the UF&Shands Health System, "we strongly believe that a new health care facility in North Jacksonville is important for the communities of northern Duval County and south Georgia, offering a needed resource closer to where area residents work and live."
In December 2011, the Agency for Health Care Administration approved Shands Jacksonville's certificate of need application to build the state-of-the-art 100-bed inpatient facility that would be part of a comprehensive campus for UF&Shands just off Duval Road near Interstate 95. The first phase of this campus, which will proceed on schedule, will include an ambulatory services and medical office building for UF faculty and community physician practices. Projected services will include primary care and specialty physician practices, diagnostic services, urgent care and outpatient surgery.
"The community in and around the proposed medical complex has grown tremendously over the past decade and, without a doubt, there is a great need for new inpatient and outpatient facilities. UF&Shands Jacksonville North would provide both," said Jim Burkhart, president and CEO of Shands Jacksonville Medical Center. "The Agency for Health Care Administration took this into consideration, along with HCA/Memorial Hospital's opposition, when it approved our certificate of need."
"We still believe that north Jacksonville deserves a state-of-the-art inpatient facility, and we are confident that the future of North Jacksonville will prove us right," Guzick added. "In the meantime, we will move forward with plans to develop our outpatient medical complex on the UF&Shands Jacksonville North campus."
Construction of the medical office complex is scheduled to begin in spring 2013 and should be completed within a year.