Lee Memorial details new Cape outpatient center
By the end of July, residents in the western part of Cape Coral will have a place to go to get their aches and pains healed without having to wait in a hospital emergency room.
Nearly 50 Lee Memorial Health System officials and community leaders held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for LMHS’s new outpatient center at the corner of Veterans Parkway and Surfside Boulevard in Cape Coral.
The ceremony may have been late coming, since work is already under way, however, the facility will not only provide much-needed medical services, but also add high-paying jobs to the city.
“I’m really excited about it. It will complement the community and give them more resources to primary care and outpatient,” said Therese Everly, of the LMHS board of directors.
Multiple clinical services will be concentrated into one facility to provide improved health care for Cape Coral residents, including internal medicine and family practice physicians, diagnostic radiology (including MRI, CT, Ultrasound, and X-ray testing) a diagnostic breast health center and a lab draw station.
David Cato, vice president of outpatient operations, said the facility is capable of expansion in the next several years, and the reason for the location choice was to better position themselves in the market by bringing primary care closer to home.
“We look to the county to meet the access needs of the community and this part of the county is growing,” Cato said. “In the next five to 10 years the population will continue to grow, so we need to continue to provide access and bring these services into the community.”
It is that community where Cape Coral Mayor Marni Sawicki lives; a stone’s throw away from the construction site.
“This showcases the commitment the city has to growing the businesses we need to bring quality jobs to the city. This project is what the council is working toward,” Sawicki said, adding that she has waited to see what’s coming.
“You’ve heard it all. The location, the jobsThe real reason we selected this location is it’s right by the mayor’s house,” LMHS president Jim Nathan joked.
The benefit of the facility is that it will help deliver the right care, in the right place, at the right time, to move out of the hospital emergency room on Del Prado and into outpatient settings.
This center is expected to provide broader access and more comprehensive services for west Cape Coral residents.
“As somebody who was born and raised here, to see there are more options to get service in your hometown is a benefit,” Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman, a Cape resident, said. “I applaud the vision of LMHS for doing it.”
The construction of the 27,000-square foot $6.7 million project will add 38 new jobs in its first year of operation, and eventually employ more than 100 people within the next four to five years. It is scheduled to open by the end of July.
Dana Brunett, city economic development director, said it’s a great day for the city, as this goes above and beyond the other developments the city has made in the past year.
“This is important to me and the city because it’s medical related, it’s the higher-paying jobs, it’s what we want to see take hold in Cape Coral,” Brunett said. “We’ll have 10 full-time doctors, plus the assistants that go along with them. Hopefully, they’re residents, so they’ll spend their money and buy homes in Cape Coral.”