Leader in healthcare, research and education now operates area hospitals
BY BERNIE WOODALL
The face of healthcare changed substantially on the Treasure Coast at the start of the year when Cleveland Clinic’s growing hospital system took over a hospital in Vero Beach, two in Stuart and one in Port St. Lucie.
The four hospitals include three that were part of the Martin Health System, which is now Cleveland Clinic Martin Health.
Here are the four hospitals and their new names:
• Indian River Medical Center in Vero Beach is now Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital. The new hospital will take over a lease from the Indian River County Hospital District. Cleveland Clinic has said it will invest at least $250 million over 10 years. Founded in 1932 and Indian River County’s largest private employer, the hospital has 332 beds and employs about 2,000.
• Martin Medical Center, near downtown Stuart, is now Cleveland Clinic Martin North Hospital. It was once known as Martin Memorial. Originally opened in 1939, the hospital now has 244 beds and plans to renovate.
• Martin Hospital South is Cleveland Clinic Martin South Hospital on Salerno Road. Built in 1992, it has 100 beds.
• Tradition Medical Center in Port St. Lucie is Cleveland Clinic Tradition Hospital. The nine-story hospital recently doubled its bed count to 177.
The Martin Health group of three hospitals employs about 4,500 and has 521 hospital beds, Cleveland Clinic says. Cleveland Clinic has said it will invest $500 million in its Martin Health facilities over the next five years.
Rob Lord will continue in his role as president of Martin Health. In January he said, “I believe joining Cleveland Clinic will be extremely beneficial for Martin Health and Treasure Coast residents.”
Cleveland Clinic also operates outpatient, rehab and diagnostic locations from South Florida through the Treasure Coast.
The expansion means the Cleveland Clinic Florida region now has five hospitals, including its foothold in the state, Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston, on the Everglades side of Broward County. The president of the Weston hospital, Wael Barsoum, was named president of the Florida region.
PIONEERING MEDICAL CENTER
Cleveland Clinic started in 1921 in Cleveland. It has pioneered advances in medicine, including breakthroughs in coronary artery bypass surgery and the first U.S. face transplant. Its flagship in Cleveland serves patients from 185 countries.
Adding the employees working at the four Treasure Coast hospitals, Cleveland Clinic has 66,000 caregivers globally, including 4,200 physicians and scientists, says Heather Phillips, Cleveland Clinic spokeswoman.
It operates clinics and physician offices in much of Palm Beach County but was unsuccessful last year when it tried to partner with a 400-bed hospital in Boca Raton that would have given it a link between Broward and the Treasure Coast hospitals. It was one of two finalists to partner with Boca Raton Regional Hospital but lost to Baptist Health Medical Group, based in Coral Gables in Miami-Dade County.
A Cleveland Clinic spokeswoman declined to comment on the group’s plans to add a hospital in Palm Beach County. In a statement issued last year, Cleveland Clinic said coming in second in Boca Raton was a “disappointment.”
HCA Healthcare, the largest hospital group in the United States, owns two major hospitals in St. Lucie County — Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute in Fort Pierce and St. Lucie Medical Center in Port St. Lucie.
They are two of 14 hospitals in the HCA East Florida system, which has its regional headquarters in Fort Lauderdale.
Lawnwood is the only Level II trauma center in the Treasure Coast, says Landy Angelone, spokeswoman for the two HCA hospitals in St. Lucie County.
Lawnwood has 380 beds. St. Lucie Medical Center has 229 beds.
The Cleveland Clinic, which has plans to double the number of patients it serves to 4 million over the next five years, has taken its expansion global. The 200-bed Cleveland Clinic London is expected to open in early 2021, the Plain Dealer in Cleveland reported. Its hospital in Abu Dhabi is growing 30 percent annually.
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