A structure built to withstand category 5 hurricanes? Yes! It's the new Homestead Hospital and it is almost ready to open it's doors. The $135 million project broke ground in April 2004 and will finally open to the public on May 6, 2007. There will be an Open house on April 28th from 1-4PM so the community can see the facility...finally! We've all been eagerly awaiting it.
The new Homestead Hospital brings with it 21st century technology in the care to be provided it's patients, but the look is anything but institutional. Patients and visitors may feel more like they're entering an upscale hotel than a hospital, which is right in line with Baptist Health's goal to create a comfortable, healing environment both inside and out at the new facility. There will be soothing colors, soft, natural light, plenty of lush landscaping, including Bald Cypress, Gumbo Limbo and Live Oak trees. A prominent feature will be the 3-story atrium which will be the core of the new building. The admitting, patient services and dining areas will surround it. Six, 20-foot high Chinese Fan Palm trees add to the grandeur of the atrium.
The new Homestead Hospital will be replacing the old Homestead Hospital which has served the community since 1940. The project broke ground in April 2004 and is located on Campbell Drive just east of the Florida Turnpike. It is the first hospital built in 30 years in Miami-Dade county from the ground up. It is also the first to be built to offer such hurricane protection. One of the goals was to be able to provide uninterrupted care for patients in the event a storm hits.
The windows are made of bullet-proof like materials, and were tested with and withstood 221 mph wind-driven rain and 2" x 4" timbers shot from a cannon. Since the area is technically a flood zone (as most of Miami-Dade county is) the first floor of the new Homestead Hospital was built 9 ½ feet above sea level. 83,000 cubic yards of fill were brought in to raise the grade of the 60-acre campus two feet higher than the roads in the surrounding area. These features allowed the hospital to receive an evacuation exemption from Miami-Dade County, avoiding the need to relocate seriously ill patients. The new hospital is equipped with backup power consisting of two 1,500-kilowatt diesel generators that are elevated above the floor and enclosed in a concrete structure so they stay dry. Two tanks holding 45,000 gallons of diesel gas will hold enough fuel to run all essential functions of the hospital, including air conditioning, for up to seven days. Amazing!
The 388,000 SF facility is impressive. The ER will be 3 times larger than the old one with 44 patient exam areas. There will be 180 patient rooms, all private. Outside there is a meditation garden behind the medical arts building. Tropical plants and three lakes will complete the campus landscape. A 1400 space parking lot provides plenty of space. Of course, let's not forget the helipad. As I write this there are orders being taken for dedication bricks to line the walkway leading up to the hospital. Starting at $200, it's affordable in case you'd like to dedicate one to a special someone.
The new homestead hospital will be a tobacco-free environment and will join such prominent healthcare providers as the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins Health System in prohibiting tobacco use on their property.
The new Homestead Hospital has served to spark a renaissance in Homestead , the Miami Redlands, Florida City and the surrounding area. It sits amid an explosion of new construction, on what used to formerly be used as potato fields. We are indeed fortunate to have a most sophisticated healthcare facility right in our own backyard.
Homestead Hospital is part of Baptist Health South Florida, the largest not-for-profit healthcare organization in the region. In addition to Homestead Hospital, Baptist Health includes Baptist Hospital, Baptist Children's Hospital, South Miami Hospital, Doctors Hospital, Mariners Hospital, Baptist Cardiac & Vascular Institute and Baptist Outpatient Services.