By Daniel Casciato

Earlier this year, Boca Raton Regional Hospital broke ground on its new Gloria Drummond Patient Tower. When completed in 2025, the seven-story facility will be the centerpiece of a “historic transformation” of the hospital’s campus, according to Lincoln Mendez, the hospital’s chief executive officer. The tower is being named by Elaine J. Wold and the Bay Branch Foundation in memory of Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s founder, Gloria Drummond. Wold was a close and life-long friend of Drummond.

Lincoln Mendez

She previously donated $10 million to construct the Hospital’s 37,500 square foot, state-of-the-art Gloria Drummond Physical Rehabilitation Institute, also named in memory of her friend. Prior to that, Wold donated the funds to expand and modernize the Hospital’s Emergency Department, creating the Wold Family Center for Emergency Medicine, which treats more than 50,000 patients annually.

“The Gloria Drummond Patient Tower is going to be a magnificent structure,” according to Mendez. “The facility will contain private rooms, critical care beds, and new operating room suites. A lot of this construction is also being done to modernize the campus. Through the new patient tower, we want to be able to provide private rooms for all the patients along with improved digital technology. Once that is complete, we will focus on the renovation of the existing facility.”

All new surgical suites and all private patient rooms will exceed the latest safety standards for patient care, notes Mendez. The new tower will feature the Louis B. and Anne W. Green Lobby with plans for retail, dining, meeting space, a sanctuary, outdoor courtyards and other conveniences for visitors.

The patient tower will add 1.08 million square feet and double the current education space at Boca’s hospital campus. Robins & Morton will oversee the construction, while HKS Architects and Urban Design Studio of South Florida are working together on the project’s design.

But the health system is not stopping there. Other projects are in the works such as the conversion of all existing 400 rooms in the current hospital building to private, as well as comprehensive renovations to all patient units including maternity, oncology and orthopedics.

An expansion of Marcus Neuroscience Institute is currently underway as well as the Toby & Leon Cooperman Medical Arts Pavilion with outpatient surgery center, endoscopy suites, physician  offices and the adjacent Eleanor Baldwin Parking Garage.

“Right now, we are in the midst of a significant master facility plan that will transform Boca Raton Regional Hospital and enhance the landscape of healthcare throughout this area,” says Mendez. “It really started in February of 2020 when construction of the Schmidt Family Parking Facility was completed. That was an important step because we’re going to be tying up some of the surface parking with these various projects.”

The Schmidt Family Parking Facility will be connected to the Marcus Neuroscience Institute once the new tower construction is complete. A new 39,700-square-foot Central Energy Plant that will reduce costs and improve efficiencies is also in the works. This will allow Boca Regional to become self-sufficient, with enough fuel to last several weeks.

“The plant will contain four generators that will be able to provide electricity to the whole medical campus,” says Mendez. “This is an important piece of the overall puzzle.

All of these projects are made possible by commitments from Baptist Health South Florida and funds raised by Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation’s $250 million “Keeping the Promise” capital campaign.

“We’re keeping the promise to the community to make sure that we provide the highest quality of care to our community,” notes Mendez. “We’ve seen a tremendous amount of growth here in the community as more people move into Boca Raton. These projects are going to be able to help us keep up with the services they will need for decades to come.”

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