VENICE — Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Venice is on track for opening in the fall, has its Medical Executive Committee in place and is hiring.

That’s the latest news from Campus President Sharon Roush and Health Care System Chief Medical Officer Dr. James Fiorica, who will oversee both the Sarasota and Venice campuses.

The ground-breaking for the project at the southeast corner of Laurel and Pinebrook roads was in April 2019.

It’s the first southward expansion of inpatient services for Sarasota Memorial, Roush said in a recent video update. SMH has an outpatient health care center and emergency room in North Port.

Establishing a physician base in the Venice area is a key step in the eventual construction of a hospital in North Port, hospital officials have said.

On completion, the Venice campus will include a 110-bed, 365,000-square-foot, hurricane-hardened, acute-care hospital with eight surgical suites; medical office buildings; a 28-room emergency department; an energy plant; and a parking garage.

It will also have a “pandemic-ready intensive care unit,” according to a news release.

The design anticipates expansion as demand for services increases.

“It’s been exciting for the past couple of years to see the construction of the new hospital coming out of the ground, but really what’s the most important thing is the care that we provide to the patients in the community,” Roush said in the news release. “Over the next several months, we are really working full steam to get that hospital ready to open and provide excellent care to our patients.”

Fiorica said the 13 doctors approved by the SMH board to serve as the first Medical Executive Committee practice diverse specialties and have long ties to the hospital.

“They are all outstanding clinicians with a combined 129 years of experience working with SMH,” he said in a news release. “We feel confident that their vision and leadership will ensure a successful opening of the new hospital and reflect Sarasota Memorial’s long-standing commitment to provide high-quality, patient-centered care.”

Comprising the committee are:

• Christopher L. Jefferson, M.D., a family medicine practitioner, who will serve a two-year term as chief of staff, until Oct. 31, 2023.

• Noel A. Maun, M.D., who practices hematology oncology, secretary and treasurer for a one-year term.

• Department of Medicine Chair Heidi R. Goedicke, M.D., a pulmonary critical care doctor, and Chair-elect Ravi Kondapalli, M.D., a gastroenterologist.

• Department of Surgery Chair Issam A. Halaby, M.D., a general surgeon, and Chair-elect Gregory M. Lomas, M.D., a urologist.

• Department of Special Services Chair Ryan S. Snitowsky, M.D., an emergency medicine specialist, and Chair-elect Heitor Okanobo, M.D., a diagnostic radiologist.

• Department of Women & Children Chair Kyle L. Garner, M.D., who practices obstetrics/and gynecology, and Chair-elect Susan R. Mihm, M.D., pediatric general medicine.

• At-large committee members are Lorraine S. Cho-Chung-Hing, M.D., nephrology; Mary L. vonWaldner, M.D., anesthesiology; and John W. Wassenaar, M.D., internal medicine and pediatrics.

The department chiefs and at-large members will all serve-one-year terms.


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