JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – UF Health will soon open a new inpatient hospital to complete its medical complex on the Northside.
It was standing room only at the ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday, where community members got their first look at the 92-bed tower.
"There were primary care offices in the area, but there were no specialists,” UF Health president David Guzick said.
"You had to go downtown, you had to drive far and it might not be the best time you feel like driving,” patient advocate Virginia Palmer said.
The opening of the 92-bed tower connects to UF Health's emergency room and outpatient center that have already been serving the community.
The tower is five floors, including specialty physicians offices with private rooms for patients and a birth center.
There's an outdoor courtyard and the indoor lobby has the feel of a hotel, replete with modern art and furniture. The goal for UF Health was to create a calming environment for patients and their families, officials said.
Palmer, who lives on the Northside, has worked at the existing medical center for two years and has even taken advantage of the medical services close to home.
"I have just come through breast cancer. I'm a survivor. My husband also had an ordeal. They took care of both of us here,” Palmer said. “It's just so wonderful when you're going through something (to be) close to your home and have providers that care for you."
As a patient advocate, she'll be using her personal experiences to help others in their time of need.
"I'm able to hand that support and really know how the family feels and how the patient feels,” Palmer said.
UF Health North's inpatient hospital is set to open this month.