ORANGE PARK – The Orange Park Medical Center has been hard at work to expand and upgrade its facilities for its patients, staff and visitors. The facility, located on Kingsley Avenue, has dedicated $126 million to the improvements.
The project began on June 24, 2019, when ground was broken on a new 101,435 square-foot tower. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, work remains on schedule to be completed next April.
“Like many businesses in our area, we’re feeling the effects of growth happening in Clay County,” said Chad Patrick, Chief Executive Officer of OPMC via press release. “We are already the preferred healthcare provider for thousands of families in our community. We see their support, especially in our ER. We want to continue earning their trust by providing more resources to keep them close to home when seeking medical care.”
Part of the job is already done.
“The main floor’s done. That’s where our registration is at, and our outpatient services; that’s all done, and that opened a couple of months ago,” said Carrie Turansky, director of public relations and communications. “And then we’re going to have four stories. Two will be completed with 24 patient beds on each floor. And the other two will be able to hold the same, but they won’t open in April.”
The project also includes 14 new recovery rooms and two electrophysiology labs, specifically for patients suffering from irregular heart rhythm conditions. The neonatal intensive care unit has also been expanded. Finally, the cafeteria area has been expanded as well with a new kitchen and dining area for staff and visitors.
“We’ve been working one year and just a couple of days [on the new cafeteria and kitchen],” said Leann John, Director of Food and Nutrition Services. The cafeteria officially opened on July 20. “This is a state-of-the-art kitchen. We have the most up-to-date equipment in the back of the house, so that will translate into up-to-date and improved food and cuisine for our patients, our guests, and our visitors. We plan to offer a wide variety of foods. We’re working really hard to enhance our vegan, our gluten-free, and our healthy choices on the menu. Of course, we will still have, of course, southern favorites; we will never shut that down completely.”
John says that she has one executive chef, and her cooks are all local chefs who have a connection to the community.
“They [the chefs] know when they come to work that they serve a bigger purpose when they work in healthcare food services. That means more to them, and that’s why they choose to work here even though its very bustling, high-paces environment,” she said.
The dining area will open 24 hours a day, and hot food will be available from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily.