Apopka Expects Economic Growth From New Florida Hospital Facility. Florida Hospital’s newest medical campus, a $203M, seven-story facility in Apopka, Florida, will bring new medical services to Orange County when it opens this month. The facility will replace Florida Hospital’s current, ageing facility some five miles away and is expected to provide an economic boon to the area. “The hospital is going to be a magnet for economic development,” Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer said during a preview tour of the facility. The city created a special zoning district called “East Shore” including the 33-acre hospital campus and mixed-use development including restaurants and shops and other commercial opportunities. The hospital will employ about 700 people—nearly three times the current workforce of the existing Apopka facility, according to administrator Tim Cook. For more, see “New Florida Hospital expected to boost Apopka's west side” from Orlando Sentinel.
Adventist Health Bakersfield Closes Burn Center. Adventist Health Bakersfield has closed its burn center citing competition from Bakersfield Memorial Hospital. Adventist Health has conceded that Bakersfield is not a large enough city to sustain two burn centers. At question was the Los Angeles-based Grossman Burn Center, with which Adventist Health had partnered since 2009 to provide treatment for burn patients in Kern County, California. When Grossman established its own burn facility in partnership with Bakersfield Memorial Hospital last year, Adventist Health Bakersfield made the decision to close its facility. When Adventist Health Bakersfield severed ties with Grossman two years ago, it had planned to keep open its burn center despite the competition. Adventist Health Bakersfield said a media release that Grossman Burn Center’s decision to partner with Bakersfield Memorial Hospital created “a surplus of hospital-based beds that could only be used for specialized burn care.” See “Adventist Health Bakersfield shutters burn center citing competition” from Bakersfield.com.
Loma Linda University Grad Students Collaborate on Artificial Hand Project. Six graduate students from Loma Linda University’s Prosthetics and Orthotics program have been working in collaboration with fifteen engineering students from Norco College to design an artificial hand. The project has been called “Project Burrito” based on a statement from the model, a young mechanic who has no fingers on his left hand. He told the students that he would like to be able to hold a burrito in one hand and hot sauce in the other. The model will not be receiving a prosthetic hand from the students, but his feedback has helped them design and refine their prototypes. Loma Linda students are responsible for designing the prosthesis and the Norco students are in charge of producing the prototypes with their community college’s new 3D printer. For more, see “Norco College, Loma Linda University students design prosthetic hand” from Press Enterprise.
Florida Hospital Pioneers Robotic Laparoscopic Surgery. Florida Hospital will become the first health system in the United States to utilize Senhance Surgical System, a new robotic system for minimally invasive abdominal surgeries. The system uses eye-tracking technology that allows surgeons to control its laparoscopic camera with their eyes. Produced by North-Carolina-based TransEnterix, Senhance costs between $1 million and $1.5 million. It became commercially available in 2016. Florida Hospital installed a Senhance device late last year, before clearance from the Food and Drug Administration, in order to begin training and research. The FDA has now approved the device after determining that it is at least as safe and effective as currently available technologies and procedures. Dr. Steve Eubanks, medical director of the Florida Hospital Institute for Surgical Advancement, said compared with the main robotic system in the market, Senhance costs less and has a shorter set-up time, reducing overall procedure time. However the robotic surgery will cost more than a non-robotic laparoscopic surgery, all things considered Eubanks said. “Eventually it has to prove superiority to laparoscopic surgery, otherwise we’re not adding value,” he said. For more, see “Florida Hospital 1st in nation to use new robotic surgery system” from Orlando Sentinel.
OHSU Shares Patients With Adventist Health Portland. Oregon Health and Science University will share overflow patients with Adventist Health Portland. OHSU has been operating at capacity, and its affiliation with Adventist Health will ease the crowding. Adventist Health, in turn, will increase the volume of patients it cares for. Adventist Health includes a 302-bed medical center, 34 medical clinics and home care and hospice services in the Portland-Vancouver metro area. “We look forward to joining the OHSU family and expanding our focus on impacting lives with high-value, quality, whole-person care,” said Joyce Newmyer, president of Adventist Health Pacific Northwest Region. For more, see “OHSU, Adventist Health Strike Deal For Overflow Patients” from OPB.org.
Image: Artist rendering of new Florida Hospital Apopka facility, courtesy Florida Hospital.
Jared Wright is a News Correspondent for Spectrummagazine.org.
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