Trinity hospital planning $15M newborn services expansion

The population growth in Pasco County is not expected to end anytime soon, and Medical Center of Trinity is getting ready now — even if the hospital is just three years old.

HCA West Florida, which owns both the Trinity hospital as well as Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point in Hudson, is having its initial meetings with Pasco County officials ahead of a proposed $15 million expansion that could add or shift at least 50 beds.

The hospital is just three years old, but Medical Center of Trinity already is thinking about expansion, focusing heavily on its neonatal and pregnancy services. (Michael Hinman/Staff photo)

The hospital is just three years old, but Medical Center of Trinity already is thinking about expansion, focusing heavily on its neonatal and pregnancy services. (Michael Hinman/Staff photo)

The primary target of the renovations is the hospital’s post-partum department as well as its neonatal intensive care unit, according to documents the hospital has filed with the county. The goal is to add 36 beds, relocate 17 beds in the post-partum unit, and renovate the NICU.

Later phases would include building out an additional elevator shell as well as expand the suite for patients undergoing cesarean sections.

Hospital spokeswoman Mary Sommise wouldn’t elaborate on those plans. But according to what the company told county officials, Trinity would begin its bed expansion on the hospital’s fifth floor as well as its C-section suite work. Once that’s done, the post-partum unit would shift from the hospital’s east wing to the west.

When all that work is completed, the hospital would then focus on its NICU, making that renovation the final phase.

Medical Center of Trinity opened in 2011 on 55 acres of land along State Road 54, just east of Little Road. It cost $200 million, and replaced the aging Community Hospital the company ran in New Port Richey.

The five-story main campus opened with 400,000 square feet of usable space, as well as a 90,000-square-foot office building.

The Trinity hospital gave itself plenty of room to expand, something Community Hospital didn’t have. Combined with the Bayonet Point facility, both hospitals saw nearly 157,000 patients in 2013, according to HCA West’s annual report, including nearly 86,000 emergency room visits — half of them going to Trinity.

Both hospitals have a combined economic impact of more than $290 million to Pasco County, officials said. More than $163 million of that comes from salaries and benefits paid to employees, while another $35 million is dedicated to charity or uncompensated care.

The Trinity and Bayonet Point hospitals also contribute more than $16.5 million in taxes to the county each year, and redirects $27 million to local vendors.

The 282-bed hospital has a little more than 1,200 employees earning an average annual salary of $63,600 a year, according to the hospital.

The Trinity hospital is not alone in wanting to expand services to newborns and mothers. Florida Hospital Zephyrhills spent last summer expanding its obstetrics unit after the number of babies born were more than double initial projections going into the year.

Officials did not share any timelines on when renovations might begin, but when it does start, Matt Nitch of Earl Swensson Associates Inc. out of Nashville, Tennessee, will manage it.

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