BayCare Health System’s board of trustees has approved an expansion plan for Bartow Regional Medical Center in Bartow, Florida, US, to address the growing population’s needs.

The hospital’s existing capacity will be increased from 72 to 90 beds and several departments, such as the surgical unit, emergency unit and catheterisation lab, will undergo improvements.

HDR Architecture designed the $110m expansion project, which will be carried out in multiple phases.

The first phase involves relocating the hospital’s helipad to accommodate the emergency department’s growth, which will add 27 examination areas and a new second floor.

Subsequent expansions will include moving the intensive care unit (ICU) to the second floor and doubling its size from existing six to 12 beds, two more operating rooms, an additional cath lab/interventional radiology suite, and adding a 12-bed ICU step-down unit.

The plan also involves adding 11 post-anaesthesia care unit (PACU) bays along with additional space for the Sterile Processing and Clinical Engineering departments.

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Construction work on the expansion project is expected to start by the end of this year.

Bartow Regional Medical Center president Karen Kerr said: “Bartow Regional Medical Center is located in one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation.

“This project aligns perfectly with our mission to improve the health of all we serve.

“Our team has been working for months to determine how best to care for our community and we’re excited to move forward.”

Since joining BayCare Health System in 2016, Bartow Regional Medical Center has seen significant growth in patient visits, mirroring Polk County’s population increase.

The acute care hospital serves Fort Meade, South Lakeland, Mulberry, Bartow, northern Hardee County and rural south Polk County.

Its facilities include four surgery suites and two gastroenterology suites, while its emergency department is staffed constantly by board-certified emergency physicians and specially trained nurses.