A Healthy Outlook

Teaching Hospital Rendering
Teaching Hospital Rendering

It’s hard not to notice all the activity taking place in health care these days — and how it’s changing the Central Florida landscape. Health care companies are buying up smaller hospitals, clinics, labs and other properties so they can expand the specialties they offer. They’re updating their brands to better promote proactive wellness instead of reactive treatment.

We are a reflection of what’s happening on a national scale. But we are also leading the way.

Health care organizations announced a record 115 merger and acquisition transactions in the United States in 2017 and an additional 90 deals in 2018, according to Chicago-based M&A advisory firm Kauffman Hall. Florida recorded the second-highest number of deals last year with seven, topped only by Texas with eight.

What does this all mean? It indicates the health care industry is getting ready for the future. With baby boomers starting to age, and their children having babies and living life to the fullest as history’s largest generation, there’s an increasing need for more proactive measures to keep us healthy — and more people to help us heal when we get sick. Our article on the West Orange Healthcare District shows how our region is balancing wellness and treatment.

There’s also a lot of unusual activity in the industry that will lead to more competition, including discussion in the Florida Legislature about tossing out the requirements for hospitals to obtain a certificate of need to justify there is enough space for them in the market.

That’s why the upcoming addition of the UCF Lake Nona Medical Center and all it represents as a future world-class teaching hospital is so exciting. The hospital’s CEO, Wendy Brandon, said 1,100 new physicians in the United States who were seeking residencies this spring did not get a match. The Lake Nona hospital will help fill gaps like that one in the future.

Technology will also play a major role in helping our health care system face the future. Central Florida is leading the way in that area, too. The futuristic work in research and development by Belgian not-for-profit imec and in robotic surgery training at the AdventHealth Nicholson Center, both profiled in this issue, is inspiring.

I recently spent time with a friend who was having inpatient surgery at Dr. P. Phillips Hospital on Turkey Lake Road, part of Orlando Health. We spoke about how great it was to be in a facility that had the relaxing feel of a smaller community hospital but the resources of the company’s larger Orlando Regional Medical Center campus downtown, including excellent medical and administrative staff. I’m happy to say he is recovering much quicker than expected.

We are fortunate in Central Florida to have renowned health care resources already, and these are only going to continue to get better.

One byproduct is the creation of more jobs, not only in the medical profession but also in architecture, construction, landscaping, interior design, technology, marketing, hospitality and other fields. That’s what I call healthy growth.

Have a great month!

About the author

Diane Sears

Diane Sears

A career journalist, author and advocate for business growth, Diane Sears is the editor-in-chief of i4 Business. She is the founder and president of DiVerse Media LLC and co-founder of the Go for the Greens Foundation, which helps connect current and future women business owners with growth opportunities. She also serves in leadership roles with the Women Presidents’ Organization, Women’s Business Development Council of Florida/Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, and Athena PowerLink.

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