Sarasota Memorial Hospital breaks ground on $75-million research facility

Building being constructed on site of former Doctors Gardens medical office in Sarasota

On June 27, the Sarasota Memorial Health Care System broke ground on a $75-million Research and Education Institute that will stand at the intersection of Arlington Street and Laurent Place in Sarasota.

The location is the site of the former Doctors Gardens medical office, a news release notes. “The 1950s-era building was demolished last year to make room for the new facility and a parking garage for about 300 vehicles,” the release adds.

The Institute is slated to open in 2025, the release says.

“Designed to promote collaboration, discovery and innovation in medical education and research,” the new five-story, approximately 80,000-square-foot facility “will house Sarasota Memorial’s expanding clinical research division, clinical and graduate medical education programs, medical library and a new, state-of-the-art simulation center designed for hands-on training,” the release explains.

“Bringing together skilled physicians, clinical investigators and nurse educators, the new Research and Education Institute will centralize everything we do under one roof, providing our physicians, clinical staff, residents and fellows enhanced opportunities to work collaboratively in an innovative clinical education environment,” Sarasota Memorial Health Care System President & CEO David Verinder said in the release.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Verinder recognized members of the Sarasota County Public Hospital Board, physician researchers and clinical educators, the Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation and community members supporting medical education and research, the release pointed out.

Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH), which “serves as a training ground for the next generation of caregivers,” as the release notes, is ranked by Fortune/Merative among the top 40 teaching hospitals in the nation. “With Florida State University as its academic partner,” the release continues, “Sarasota Memorial provides residency and fellowship training programs that help attract and retain physicians to our community. SMH also collaborates with nursing education programs throughout the region. Close to half of the residents have stayed on at Sarasota Memorial after completing their training, while nearly 70% remained in Florida,” the release notes.

Dr. James Fiorica, Sarasota Memorial’s chief medical officer, said the health system’s clinical research and education programs have tripled in size in recent years, with nearly 70 resident physicians and fellows completing residency and fellowship training each year, the release points out. More than 50 research studies are under way, the release adds.

“We are so proud of the strides Sarasota Memorial has made in clinical research and education in recent years,” Fiorica said in the release. The fact that the teaching hospital is ranked among the best in Florida and that it also has such a high profile in the nation, “helps attract exceptional physicians to the region,” where they “provide highly specialized care in our community,” he added in the release.

SMH’s education and training programs are located inside the Sarasota hospital, the release explains. “Consolidating those programs into the adjacent facility will enhance interdisciplinary opportunities, while creating more clinical space in the Sarasota hospital for bedside care.”