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UF Health celebrates new Ocala Neighborhood Hospital with ribbon cutting

Ocala and UF Health leaders celebrate the opening of the new Ocala Neighborhood Hospital.

Ocala and UF Health leaders cut the ribbon at a ceremony celebrating the new Ocala Neighborhood Hospital. (Photo by Nate Guidry)

Click here for video and here for high-res images.

Media contact: Matt Walker, mwal0013@shands.ufl.edu, 352-265-8395

By Matt Walker

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Ocala and Marion County residents will soon have expanded access to nationally recognized medical expertise, clinical trials and medical breakthroughs right in their neighborhood, when the new UF Health Ocala Neighborhood Hospital opens this summer with services the system previously only offered in Gainesville.

UF Health, the University of Florida’s academic health center, and Ocala/Marion County leaders celebrated the completion of the new hospital Tuesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The hospital’s emergency room opens to patients in July, with other programs rolling out over time.

“When it comes to UF Health, we intend to deliver on our mission of connecting community members to the care that they need and deserve when they most need it,” said Steve Motew, M.D., M.H.A., FACS, president and system CEO of the UF Health clinical enterprise. “We intend to do so with compassion and a level of excellence that is truly unmatched, not only in each of the communities, but throughout the state of Florida, nation, and internationally as well.”

The 150,000-square-foot hospital will feature 10 ER rooms, including seven emergency exam rooms and one room each for consultations, triage and trauma. It will also include 10 inpatient rooms; four surgical operating rooms, 12 pre- and postoperative beds, and an imaging center with two general X-ray rooms, two CT rooms, and ultrasound and MRI suites.

The three-story facility will have an outpatient center for lab draws; the UF Health Rehab Clinic – Ocala, featuring physical and occupational therapy; an anesthesia preoperative center; physician office space; and room for future expansion.

“A lot of careful planning went into the design,” said Austin Reed, M.D., the new hospital’s medical director. “Each patient room is large and private, meant to enhance the healing environment and increase safety. Nursing stations are designed to enhance visibility, communication, and accessibility; they feature layouts aimed at facilitating seamless interaction among caregivers.”

The UF Health Ocala Neighborhood Hospital opening is the latest effort to bring top-quality health care to residents throughout Central and North Florida. In early 2020, UF Health acquired hospitals in Leesburg and The Villages. In 2022, UF Health began an expansion that includes a second inpatient tower at its UF Health North campus in Jacksonville. More recently, state officials committed $80 million for a state-of-the-art trauma center at UF Health Jacksonville. Last year, UF Health also added UF Health St. Johns to its system, which includes UF Health Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine.

UF Health Shands Hospital is a national medical network member for Team USA athletes and is nationally ranked in nine adult and pediatric specialties, according to the most recent U.S. News & World Report rankings.

“As a member of the community and as a leader of the city, the future of Ocala is made even brighter today with the expansion of UF Health’s presence here and the opening of UF Health Ocala Neighborhood Hospital,” said Ben Marciano, mayor of Ocala. “Welcome to the neighborhood!”

UF Health is also inviting the community to an open house at the new hospital, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 15. Visitors at the free event can tour the facility and learn more about the services offered. Other activities include face painting and a photo booth. Free hot dogs, chips and Jeremiah’s Italian Ice will be available.

For the media

Media contact

Peyton Wesner
Communications Manager for UF Health External Communications
pwesner@ufl.edu (352) 273-9620