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Take A Walk Through Florida Hospital For Women


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Slide show: Florida Hospital for Women will open towards the end of January.

Kari Vargas led the tour of the $180 million hospital that will focus on mothers and babies. 

The hospital has midwives on staff. Here, shower heads can be used to alleviate back pain for women wanting a more natural experience.

Four rooms will have big bathtubs for water births.

The operating rooms for moms needing a C-section has upgraded lighting, video monitors and even lets mom pick out the music.

And here's the waiting room for family as well.
Here's the view from the sixth floor balcony. Experts say putting money into hotel-like amenities gets more moms in the door. And moms often guide the health care of the whole family.

Before the babies arrive, Florida Hospital for Women opened its doors for an early peek inside.

Vice President of Women’s Services Kari Vargas led the tour, complete with pink hard hats and pink construction vests.

“So 400,000 square, 332 beds, we are going to have a phased approach,” Vargas says, walking through the lobby. “We’ll start seeing patients here at the end of January. Our second phase opens about a year from now. So our oncology, neonatal intensive care will physically move into the building. We’ll have 10 additional operating rooms, both robotic and minimally invasive enabled.”

The hospital is an active construction site, but the building looks fully formed. This hospital is designed for mothers and babies.

“Two full-time birth coordinators will be on-staff to help design personalized birth experiences for women delivering here,” said Heather Fox, director of women’s health and oncology. “It’s not a VIP thing. It’s an experience for everyone who comes into the facility.”

Now if you’re wondering what about childbirth you can actually control, you can design the music, photos on the TV and how many family members are in the room. And there is, of course, a concierge service for gifts and goodies.

But one big thing women can choose is the kind of birth they’ll have. The hospital will have midwives on staff for women who want a more natural birth.

Florida Hospital for Women has four rooms with large bathtubs. Vargas draws back a shower curtain in one of the rooms.

“This shower actually has jets again that women can use to alleviate back pain as they’re going through the labor process,” Vargas said. “So that’s just one activity we heard from women who maybe want a more natural birth.”

This is Florida’s Hospital’s biggest investment ever in women’s service. The price tag comes in at $180 million dollars, and it’s right in the center of Health Village. That’s a large-scale, health-centered development Florida Hospital is putting together.

The kinds of amenities being shown off on this tour mean more space and more money. Owner Adventist Health System’s has done well financially, which allows them to splurge a little on the new tower.

And there’s a reason they’re looking at women.

“I’m finding among young mothers in many respects the amenities are a great, attractive factor,” said hospital analyst Michael Carroll.

Newborns is the one area where Florida Hospital doesn’t dominate the Central Florida market. But just as important, for many families, mom is the key health care decision maker. If you can get mom to love Florida Hospital, she’ll come back – and she’ll bring the family.

“If mama’s happy, the family’s happy,” Carroll said. “And if you can get mom to start coming to a facility and be supportive, the family follows.”

The last stop on the tour is a operating room. Even that has some upgrades: Bright lighting, video monitors – and, of course, the ability to pick the soundtrack for your C-section.

“Mom’s awake,” Vargas said. “So we wanted to make sure we had some focal points.”


WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, a statewide collaborative reporting on health care.

Health reporting on WMFE is supported in part by AdventHealth.

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Abe Aboraya

About Abe Aboraya

Health Reporter

Abe Aboraya started writing for newspapers in High School. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe ... Read Full Bio »

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