VENICE — Community Health Systems Inc. is closing its Shorepoint Health Venice hospital effective Sept. 22, with emergency services closed beginning Aug. 29 at 7 a.m.
The hospital company will continue its out-patient services, particularly at ShorePoint Health Park on Jacaranda Boulevard.
Hospital officials, in a news release, pointed to changes in health care services available in the area — particularly the opening of the new Sarasota Memorial Hospital Venice campus last November — as the reason for the closure.
Sarasota Memorial Hospital Venice: The campus fulfills the artistic vision as it prepares to open
Before:CHS bought the hospital from HMA for $7.6 billion
Kelly Enriquez, CEO of Shorepoint Venice, spent the better part of Monday answering questions from employees in various departments of the hospital.
In a prepared statement, Enriquez said, “The staff at Shorepoint Venice have provided excellent care to the residents of Venice for years, and we are extremely grateful for their dedication and compassion.
“Retaining our valued team members during this transition is our top priority,” he added.
Physician network to continue seeing patients in Venice area practices
Current plans call for members of the Shorepoint Medical Group physician specialist network to continue seeing patients at their Venice area practices, and the hospital is exploring how it can align with its remaining hospitals, Shorepoint Port Charlotte.
The 312-bed private hospital opened on December 3, 1951 as South Sarasota Memorial Hospital and was renamed Venice Memorial Hospital in February 1952.
It has since been sold three times, including a 2014 sale to CHS, which bought two dozen hospitals from Health Management Associates for $7.6 billion.
Plumbing problems led to raw sewage leaks and other problems at the hospital in 2015-16, contributing to a loss of public confidence in the hospital.
Related:Unbelievable problems at the Venice hospital
In addition to the opening of SMH-Venice, a release from spokesperson Daniel Gagliano cited the fact that the hospital has experienced a decline in patients, as well as increased labor costs and inflation, some of which is attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In June, Shorepoint Health Venice announced a joint venture with Select Medical, a post-acute care recovery hospital, that will establish a long-term care inpatient hospital on two floors of Venice Hospital.
It is not yet known whether that deal will stand.
While the emergency department is slated to close Aug. 29, closings at the remaining facilities will be phased in, with Shorepoint officials working with patients, as well as first responders and other area hospitals, to ensure patients can continue to receive care. look after
The news of the hospital closing is disappointing but not surprising
News of the closure — which began bubbling through rumors last week, as word leaked from several closed-door meetings — was met with disappointment but not surprise.
“We haven’t heard firsthand what’s going on there,” said Kathleen Lehner, president and CEO of the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce. “It’s very sad for us to know that what was right on the street – and our landlord – will not be there.
“It’s going to hurt the island community, I think,” Lehner added, citing residents who will soon have to travel to SMH-Venice, Pinebrook and Laurel across the street for care.
Venice Mayor Ron Fensode said the announcement was no shock to him, as officials at the hospital, known as Venice Regional Bayfront Health until its November 2021 rebranding, had talked to him about demolishing the existing campus and downsizing it. one
“I knew they were looking for a way to stay on the island but I’m not surprised they couldn’t find a way,” Fensod said. “It’s unfortunate but I think it was somewhat inevitable.”
This is a developing story.
Earle Kimel primarily covers southern Sarasota County for the Herald-Tribune and can be reached at [email protected] Support local journalism with a digital subscription to the Herald-Tribune.