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Tampa Bay area hospitals work to keep up with growing demand as population booms

POP Baycare
Posted at 6:53 AM, Jan 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 08:00:21-05

“People are moving to Florida from all over the country in droves. Our healthcare sector is an industry that we’re seeing booming in Tampa,” said Kelly Flannery, President & CEO of the South Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

As more people move to Tampa Bay, the less accessible healthcare becomes in communities with limited options.

“If we don’t bring the healthcare services to them in their community, chances are a lot of them will not follow through,” said Donna Lynch, Director of Laboratory Operations at BayCare.

Hospitals are fighting to keep up with the increasing demands.

“We’re trying to grow with the communities in which we serve when we identify a need for high-quality healthcare,” said James Cote, Senior Vice President of Ambulatory Services for BayCare.

Several hospitals are expanding and building facilities in parts of the Tampa Bay area where health access is limited.

“They see the need that the community has for services to be brought to them, brought into their neighborhood for the things that people need,” said Flannery.

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“We’re trying to meet the needs of the growing community and make things easy and accessible to them,” said Cote.

BayCare Health System recently built four new Health Hubs, their all-in-one clinics, in areas seeing booming population growth.

The Health Hub in South Tampa opened in 2020, and BayCare’s latest Health Hub just opened in Land O'Lakes to serve the growing Pasco County community.

“It’s a relatively new model of care for us. It’s a destination designed to improve the health for the community in which we serve,” said Cote.

Health officials say new facilities that make it easier for people to see a doctor, has been especially important with COVID-19 as hospitals have struggled to keep up.

“Access to healthcare is vitally important,” said Cote.

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“I think it’s important because it needs to be convenient and it needs to be easy,” said Lynch.

Officials say they’re working to create more of these types of facilities to help keep up with the population growth.

“We hope to continue to grow,” said Lynch.