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South Bay Hospital growing…again

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Two key areas on South Bay Hospital’s first floor are about to get treatments of the expansion kind.

By MELODY JAMESON

SUN CITY CENTER — Two key areas on South Bay Hospital’s first floor are about to get treatments of the expansion kind.

Work on enhancing and upgrading the hospital’s interventional radiology suite as well as on expanding its physicians’ dining lounge is to get underway in December and continue on a concurrent basis, according to Natalia Diaz, marketing director.

Part of a larger scale, long-term capital improvements program envisioned on the hospital’s campus immediately west of the retirement center on S.R. 674, the dual projects are expected to be completed about 90 days after they are begun, she added.

For the interventional radiology suite within the radiology lab, plans call for better utilization of the present 750- square- foot area, plus adding new imaging software, enhancing the technological capabilities. Interventional radiology utilizes various imaging techniques to reduce the invasive aspects of certain surgical procedures, Diaz noted. As an example, she cited inserting or replacing a stent as part of cardiac treatment which formerly required major surgical intrusion into the body but now can be accomplished with only small incisions and frequently is done on an out-patient basis.

New software providing the latest imaging technology giving better imaging with lower radiation will come on line in February, Diaz said.

While the departmental work is underway, the radiology imaging formerly performed in the area will be relocated to a portable room near out-patient surgery, the marketing director said, adding it is anticipated all functions will continue without change or inconvenience.

The physician’s lounge, now just 485 square feet in area and able to seat only eight, is being enlarged to 1,115 square feet and when completed will be able to provide salad bar, soups, beverages and entrées, along with seating for 24 individuals, Diaz said.

The total number of physicians on staff at South Bay Hospital and those with staff privileges is close to 500, she added.

In recent years, the 30-year-old, 112-bed facility has been enlarged and upgraded with several other projects. A new emergency services department was constructed in 2002, including a more convenient and specifically designated entrance on the hospital’s north side.

And, in December, 2010, the first floor reception area was enhanced with refinements. At the same time, the specifically designated second-floor joint and spine center was opened, complete with a waiting section for patients’ family and friends which was enlarged, refurbished and made more comfortable, Diaz said.

The current project costs are estimated at $1.2 million, the marketing director noted.

South Bay is a unit of Tennessee-based Hospital Corporation of America, the largest for-profit medical services companies in the country. The hospital itself a few years ago was projected by the company to be relocated to HCA property on Big Bend Road. However, area residents, many of them Sun City Center residents, campaigned vigorously to keep the facility in its present location as an asset to, for and of the retirement community.

South Bay’s primary medical focuses are on orthopedics with an on-site center for joint and spine care, on cardiac and vascular treatment, on cancer, stroke and urological patients, as well as on general surgery, plus diagnostic imaging and radiology.

The hospital also offers pre-registration for in-patient care and mammogram appointment scheduling, plus use of the Consult-a-Nurse feature, through its website. Anyone wishing to send an email to a patient can do so through the website as well as access the monthly support group calendar of events and discussions. The hospital’s online home page can be found simply by entering South Bay Hospital, Sun City Center, in a browser window.

South Bay is one of 15 HCA facilities on Florida’s Central Gulf Coast.

Copyright 2012 Melody Jameson

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