September 24, 2022

Business Florida 2022 - The Regions

East Central

Brevard • Lake • Orange • Osceola • Seminole • Sumter • Volusia

| 11/8/2021

Life Sciences & Health Care

AdventHealth Orlando retained its position as Florida’s No. 3 best hospital for another year with top 40 rankings in three specialties on U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals 2021-22”: diabetes & endocrinology (No. 40); neurology & neurosurgery (No. 47); and gastroenterology & GI surgery (No. 48). Headquartered in Altamonte Springs, AdventHealth operates more than a dozen hospitals across Florida’s East Central region. Its Orlando-based pediatric hospital — AdventHealth for Children — was also recognized by U.S. News & World Report with a No. 35 nationwide ranking in neonatology. In May 2021, AdventHealth Fish Memorial in Orange City opened its new patient tower with 72 beds, an intensive care unit and “The Baby Place,” providing expanded obstetric services in west Volusia County.

Orlando Health’s Orlando Regional Medical Center moved up a notch to No. 8 in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Florida Hospitals 2021-22” rankings. Its Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children earned top 50 scores in five pediatric specialties: pediatric diabetes & endocrinology (No. 29); pediatric cardiology & heart surgery (No. 40); pediatric orthopedics (No. 48); pediatric urology (No. 49); and neonatology (No. 50).

With the acquisition of Bayfront Health St. Petersburg in October 2020 and the opening of the new Orlando Health Horizon West Hospital in Winter Garden in January 2021, Orlando Health’s roster of wholly-owned hospitals in central Florida has risen to 10.

Elsewhere in the region:

UCF Lake Nona Medical Center opened in March 2021, providing full-service health care to Lake Nona and surrounding communities. Located adjacent to the UCF College of Medicine, the 64-bed facility expects to serve 17,000 patients in its first year of operation.

The rehabilitation category of the health care sector in Florida’s East Central region is getting a boost:

• Jacksonville-based Brooks Rehabilitation plans to begin construction of a 60-bed hospital in Lake Nona in late 2021.

• Encompass Health, based in Birmingham, Ala., plans to build a rehabilitation hospital in two stages — a 50-bed first phase, to be followed by a 30-bed addition at a site just outside Kissimmee.

Healthcare solutions company InnovaCare Health is moving its headquarters from White Plains, N.Y., to Orlando’s Lake Nona Medical City with the expectation of creating 60 new, high-paying jobs. A national leader in integrated and value-based health care services, InnovaCare is known for providing practice management solutions and coordinated patient-provider engagement.

TogetherHealth, an insurance technology company, is opening a new office in Lake Mary with the expectation of hiring 300 new employees over the next three years.


Life & Leisure

No. 1 Again
Oops, we did it again … According to census data released in August 2021, The Villages in Sumter County is once again the fastest growing metropolitan statistical area in the U.S. According to the latest Census Bureau data, The Villages has added another 36,332 residents since 2010 and here’s a new twist — opening the gates to millennials. Community developers are pushing for a charter change to create designated living areas within The Village of West Lake for younger people who work in the community.

Naturally Appealing
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s this: Mother Nature can be a good source of entertainment. With 118 miles of Atlantic coastline, including Canaveral National Seashore, and the nearly 1,000 inland bodies of water, there’s plenty to see and do in Florida’s East Central region. Pay a visit to the bald eagles, armadillos and otters residing at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge who are so laid-back, they barely notice the ground shake when a rocket lifts off at Kennedy Space Center just next door. Take a walk in the sand at sunrise — Daytona and Cocoa are good beach options. Find a river with a tongue-twisting name like Ocklawaha or Withlacoochee, or just ditch civilization altogether and take a walk in the woods.

Paddle a Kayak
But not just on any old stream. Brevard Zoo in Melbourne offers guided kayaking tours around animal exhibits. You can follow a guide through Expedition Africa where you might see a giraffe or a ring-tailed lemur, or you can head off on your own. Also in Melbourne: Treetop Trek aerial adventures will have you zipping through acres of lush Florida landscapes!

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