North Florida Regional hospital unveils new name

North Florida Regional Medical Center celebrated its transition to a new brand on Thursday, officially becoming HCA Florida North Florida Hospital.

North Florida Hospital CEO Eric Lawson speaks at rebranding event

At a sign unveiling ceremony, the nearly 50-year-old Gainesville hospital joined more than 450 HCA Florida Healthcare affiliated sites across the state under a shared brand.

“Over the last 50 years, HCA has grown across the state of Florida,” said HCA Florida North Florida Hospital CEO Eric Lawson. “Now today, HCA treats more than 6 million patients across the state in more than 450 sites of care through 49 different hospitals. But here locally, at North Florida Hospital, we treat more than 345,000 patients a year.

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“And now through this new union through our new partnership and name, we are united across Florida,” Lawson said. “So I’m incredibly excited to christen our new name with this new sign and with our new name, may it be a beacon to our community about the connected compassionate care, not only here in Gainesville, but across the state of Florida.”

The North Florida Hospital chairman of the board, recently retired Dr. Steven Roark, spoke about HCA’s history and commented on HCA Healthcare co-founder Dr. Thomas Frist’s vision for the company.

Unveiling the new North Florida Hospital sign

“[Frist] said, ‘bricks and mortar do not make a hospital—people do,” Roark said. “And clearly he was right on target. In 1972, several Gainesville physicians approached Dr. Frist about starting a new hospital and HCA agreed, and that was the beginning of North Florida Regional Medical Center.

“Initially, it was a relatively small hospital and really had no true emergency room, but if you look at what we have now, it’s been a big change,” Roark said. “So over these past 50 years, we’ve had tremendous change, tremendous growth inside of the physical plant. The staff has grown to 2,600 medical staff, and now numbers almost 500 physicians. The services have grown exponentially and quality is our strength.”

Roark added the new logo and brand reflects the unification of HCA’s numerous healthcare entities and services in Florida and will allow for better collaboration between physicians and healthcare providers providing patient care.

“We are in the people business,” said Roark, quoting current HCA CEO Sam Hazen in a recent interview. “Even though it’s got science to it, the result boils down to our people. To all of you today, the work here, the board says thank you for all you do and we look forward to the future together.”

HCA Florida North Florida Hospital sign and logo

According to an HCA press release, the new HCA Florida Healthcare affiliation will connect around 11,000 physicians and 77,000 colleagues at 49 hospital campuses, more than 350 physician practices and freestanding emergency rooms, along with 50 urgent care centers.

North Florida Hospital opened in 1973 with 150 beds. A recent expansion grew it to a 523-bed, full-service medical and surgical acute care center that offers, among other services, comprehensive cardiovascular care, oncology, orthopedics, neurosciences, weight loss surgery and treatment, women’s health and wound therapy.

North Florida Hospital employees around new sign

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