Patients, staff get preview of new Baptist Medical Center tower | News

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Patients, staff get preview of new Baptist Medical Center tower
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The new tower at Baptist Medical Center is going to open next month with state-of-the-art technology, which should mean better results for patients.

The new addition costs $200 million, has 11 floors, and more than 350,000 square feet.

Baptist Health employees and the media were given tours of the new tower on Thursday.

It is impressive to say the least. There is a pediatric and adult neurosurgical suite, where patients can be moved right away via a moving table to do an MRI scan during surgery. Top-of-the-line technology throughout, which is a plus for patients.

"It is absolutely cutting edge in a way that is going to really impact patient outcomes for the better," said Dr. Brad Wallace, a neurosurgeon who has been at Baptist for five years. "It's not just bells and whistles. Seeing this in real life is really breathtaking."

"This one is really nice," said patient Bronie Massey. She just had back surgery in the old building next door and got a tour. She thought it was beautiful and it smelled great.

"I love it. The rooms, they look totally different. Everything looks totally different that the rest of the hospital does."

Designed with families in mind, patient rooms are actually twice the size of the original patient rooms built in 1955.

"That is predominately to allow the family to be able to stay with patients," said hospital president Michael Mayo. "We have created a family area with a couch that makes into a bed. The families can stay with the patient in the room."

Artwork by local artists is all throughout the hospital. "The art work is beautiful, I really like it a lot," said Massey. 

On the seven adult floors are historical displays on the walls about Jacksonville's seven bridges. Six of the city's bridges can be seen from the building, which features huge windows with great views of the city. The bridge theme was selected because "Baptist bridges health care to the citizens of Jacksonville," said Mayo.

The tower will be named for J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver, the former owners of the Jacksonville Jaguars. They recently donated $10 million to Baptist Medical Center, the largest single donation in the 57-year history of the hospital.

There will be a public open house on Saturday, November 17 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. A ribbon cutting ceremony is set for 11 a.m. Patients will begin receiving care there on December 8 and the first surgeries are set for December 10.

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