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ORLANDO-Health Central, one of the few independently-owned hospitals still operating successfully in the main four-county Central Florida area, will be seriously challenging the major medical chains for new patients by kicking off a $42 million, 100,000-sf expansion/renovation program in April.

The 141-bed, 334,000-sf, 10-year-old hospital in Ocoee, FL, a bedroom community eight miles west of Downtown Orlando, won’t be increasing its 141-bed count but will give doctors more office space; increase areas for laboratory and radiology services; and grow its emergency and operating departments. Besides the new construction, 50,000 sf of existing space will be renovated.

Although small compared with 600-bed facilities such as Florida Hospital’s main campus in Orlando, Health Central has a strategic growth advantage over its larger corporate-owned competitors. The Ocoee hospital is located at the entrance to west Orange County, an explosive growth area being upgraded by new highways and subdivisions. Future new business will come from that area, not far from Walt Disney World’s 30,000-sf empire, hospital planners predict.

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