Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center in Haines City will have a grand opening ceremony on Saturday for its new fifth floor, which houses the Center for Women's Health.
HAINES CITY — Lisa Bishop was speaking into the phone when there was a loud crash in the background.
Startled, she quickly apologized and noted that everywhere around her, workers were hauling boxes – including the one that fell.
“We’re moving as I’m talking to you,” she said. “We’ve got boxes to move, so sorry.”
It was a busy day where Bishop works, at Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center, the hospital on U.S. 27 in Haines City. But it was particularly busy on the hospital’s new fifth floor, which houses its new Center for Women’s Health, which will have its grand opening on Saturday, June 23.
Bishop, the hospital’s director of Women’s Services, said Tuesday was a day spent busily doing all the last minute things that need to be done before a new office opens its doors.
“We are unpacking boxes and installing our equipment and making sure it meets our high standards, and we are putting up artwork today,” Bishop said. “We are doing training all week.”
Construction work on the new Center for Women’s Health started on Jan. 2. On Thursday, Heart of Florida hospital will celebrate its crystal anniversary – 15 years of operating in this community – while also hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Center for Women’s Health from 5-7 p.m., with an open house on the fifth floor of the hospital at 40100 U.S. 27.
“This is a project that has been a number of years on the planning stages, and for a variety of reasons it got put on the back burners,” Bishop said. “But this is our year to shine.”
That’s why the hospital is hosting two grand opening ceremonies this week, said Linda Vendl, the hospital’s marketing director.
“We’re having a ribbon cutting event on Thursday for the Haines City Chamber of Commerce,” Vendl said. “Then on Saturday we’re going to have our grand opening, where we’ll have local dignitaries and we’ll be welcoming the public to come see it.”
The new Center for Women’s Health will be a large addition to Heart of Florida – “It’s a 30,000 square foot addition to the hospital,” Bishop said – and will serve a unique mission.
“We will have OB/GYN surgery, labor and deliver, mother and baby all on the fifth floor,” Bishop said. “It’s a floor that will cater to the specific needs and provide unique care to women in our community. By that I mean, normally if you go to a hospital for outpatient surgery, you go through the outpatient surgical center. Here, you would do through our Center for Women’s Health. We will offer robotic surgery, infertility surgery, infertility planning, as well as your normal labor and delivery, mother and child care. Everything on the fifth floor has been designed with women in mind.”
All of the rooms on the floor, she said, are private.
But more than providing comfort to the women, they also want to enhance and prolong the health of women living in Central Florida.
“Women tend to be very involved in their health care,” Bishop said. “They take ownership of it. They have their doctors, which may be their OB/GYN or their primary care physician. The more that we can keep women aware with mammography or fertility planning or taking care of her baby — or even care afterwards as they get to menopause — the healthier they are and the healthier they will be for their life span.”
This is also, she said, about helping men.
“Most of the time wives make appointments for their husbands,” she said. “The healthier we can keep those women through our lifespan, the better off we all are in this community. That is our goal, to create quality health care with a unique spin. We want to promote the health of women with breast exams, with mammography. We want to promote those treatments. Early inventions and prevention is a key to a healthy lifespan.”
Saturday’s grand opening ceremony begins at 9 a.m. The community is invited to visit the new Center, tour the floor, meet the providers and enjoy refreshments and door prizes at the official open house. Healthcare providers will be on hand, while Dr. Mark Alkass, OB/GYN specialist, will present the topic, “Robotic Surgery, Minimally Invasive Surgery: The Future is Here” at 11 a.m. to explain some of the advances and benefits of today’s minimally invasive gynecologic surgical methods.

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