In the healthcare industry delivering patient care is the utmost priority. Accomplishing this with a limited budget, time and staffing restraints can be difficult and stressful for healthcare leaders. The locally based Florida non-profit corporation, LeeSar, Inc. is delivering relief to the region’s medical facilities and changing the dynamic in the industry by moving non-patient care services out of the hospital.
LeeSar is a supply chain management service that provides purchasing, processing, assembling and distribution of critical supplies 24-hours a day, seven days a week to the major hospitals of Lee Memorial Health System, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, Lee County EMS and other facilities. Moving these non-patient care services out of the hospital allows for additional space for patients, reduces inventory & operating costs, and most importantly, allows providers to focus on patient care, rather than preparing for their arrival.
A groundbreaking ceremony recently occurred in preparation for this new 23-acre, 205,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility, at the former site of the Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center at the corner of Evans Avenue and Winkler Avenue in the City of Fort Myers. Johnson Engineering provided surveying, planning, landscape architecture and civil engineering services to construct the facility, which will include light industrial uses (distribution, sterile processing, cook/chill) and administrative offices. The combination of uses necessitated a rezoning from the CI Commercial Intensive designation to PUD, which was granted by City Council in November 2010.
Johnson Engineering performed the permitting associated with demolition of the hospital, which sat abandoned since 2009, and helped LeeSar minimize costs by securing an estimated $1.9 million in impact fee credits by redeveloping the site of the pre-1985 Medical Center within five years of demolition. Johnson Engineering further helped LeeSar efficiently utilize the site with deviations granted by the City of Fort Myers to retain and use existing parking areas, retain mature trees, and optimize the existing stormwater management, utility infrastructure and an existing electrical power building that remain on the site.
The facility is anticipated to provide a total of over 300 jobs, of which over 100 will be new positions. As the new center of operations, the company will continue to provide specialized surgical instrument repair, acquire and distribute medical supplies, package pharmaceuticals, supply custom surgical packs using a patented sterilization method, and manage food preparation services. The facility will also house centralized purchasing, contract management, and administration offices.
The new regional service center brings a boost to the area, not only by providing services more quickly and efficiently to the region’s major hospitals, but through its economic impact as well. The Winkler and Evans corridors suffered the loss of the activity and associated economic impact when Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center closed. LeeSar’s influx of employees will help local businesses like shops and restaurants, and will also spur additional business development for the facilities and enterprises that support LeeSar’s supply chain management functions.