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Facing Competition And $250M Expansion, Stand-Alone Florida Hospital Seeks To Join Health System

Boca Raton Regional Hospital was built in 1967 after two neighborhood children were poisoned, and, because medical attention was 30 minutes away, died. Over the years, the stand-alone facility built a solid reputation and soldiered on by itself while other healthcare facilities consolidated around it.

Boca Raton Regional Hospital plans a quarter-billion-dollar expansion.

Last summer, acknowledging the challenges in an increasingly competitive healthcare industry, the hospital formed a steering committee and announced that it, too, wanted to partner up with a health system. It sent out a request for proposals. Twelve systems responded. This week, that list was culled to five, Boca Magazine reports.

Baptist Health South Florida, Cleveland Clinic, Memorial Healthcare System, Novant Health and Orlando Health all made the cut. The finalists are all not-for-profit institutions, as is BRRH. 

“This group represents some of the most accomplished and respected healthcare systems in the country,” Boca Raton Regional Hospital President and CEO Jerry Fedele said in a statement. “We believe it is an affirmation of our capabilities and strengths as well as our attractiveness as a potential partner.”

Bloomberg in December reported that at least 26 nonprofit hospitals around the country are in default or distress. 

BRRH has 400 beds and 2,800 employees, including 800 physicians. In February, it announced a quarter-billion-dollar expansion that will add 278K SF, growing the facility by more than 50%. Additions will include a seven-story patient tower, updated surgical suites, expanded intensive care units and amenities. The hospital intends to make all patient rooms private. 

Three major donors — Stanley and Marilyn Barry, Christine E. Lynn, and Richard and Barbara Schmidt and the Schmidt Family Foundation — donated $35M toward the capital campaign, which will kick into high gear this fall. 

In the statement announcing the five finalists, the hospital said that having a partner would enable it to better develop nationally recognized clinical programs and provide greater access to capital.

The prospective partners will each be invited to spend a day at BRRH and then give updated presentations, according to Boca Magazine. The hospital expects to make a decision by the fall.

Fedele, who had intended to retire this year after a decade during which he turned around the hospital's finances, will stay on until the fall of 2019.