BUILT Marketing Strategies

From Humble Beginnings, AdventHealth is Helping Build the Future of Central Florida Healthcare

From l to r: Robert Wahlers, vice president of philanthropy, AdventHealth Foundation; Keith Lowe, director, strategic real estate; AdventHealth and Bryan Emde, executive director, AdventHealth discuss AdventHealth’s plan to keep health care needs ahead of population growth in Central Florida. The three spoke at Contractors, Connectors and Closers of Orlando’s April event at Barton Malow.

by Michael Monahan, Founder, President & Lead Consultant, BUILT Marketing Strategies

AdventHealth‘s history in Orlando dates back to 1908. At that time, a group of Seventh Day Adventists purchased a wooden farmhouse for $9,000. Initially equipped with 20 beds, an X-ray machine, and a single doctor, it’s come a long way. Today, AdventHealth is a healthcare giant. With over 5,000 beds in Central Florida alone, it’s part of an $11 billion healthcare system. This system spans nine states, includes 54 hospitals, and invests $600 million annually in capital.

Robert Wahlers, vice president of philanthropy at the AdventHealth Foundation, argues that this is only half the story. He suggests that the future of healthcare in Central Florida is about outpatient care and health parks. These facilities will cater to the area’s booming population.

AdventHealth facilities in Central Florida are busier than any other hospital in the U.S., according to Wahlers. He says, “It’s exciting to see how many patients we serve here.” As people continue to move to the area, he predicts growth to meet increasing demand.

Wahlers was part of a group from Advent Health who spoke at an event in April. The event, organized by Contractors, Closers & Connectors of Orlando (CCC Orlando), focused on AdventHealth’s Central Florida Development.

Keith Lowe, Director of Strategic Real Estate at AdventHealth, offered his thoughts on the future. He suggested that healthcare will become more accessible. “In a hundred years, we might look back and think we were just getting started,” Lowe said.

Lowe posed the question, “Have any of us waited too long for an appointment with our primary care physician?” He went on to discuss how the patient experience is changing. In particular, he noted the impact of Florida’s 2019 repeal of the Certificate of Need (CON). This repeal, according to the National Law Review, removed barriers for building or expanding medical facilities in Florida.

Lowe mentioned that future health parks will be closer to consumers. These parks will house 30,000 – 40,000 square foot healthcare facilities. They’ll offer primary care, imaging, labs, and other essential services, alongside amenities such as cafes and retail pharmacies.

Lowe highlighted two sites that AdventHealth has purchased. One is the former Holy Land attraction site. AdventHealth plans to put a medical office building and freestanding emergency department there. According to Lowe, this area of Orlando is currently underserved. The other site is in Minneola, where AdventHealth owns 30 acres.

These two projects are part of AdventHealth’s larger construction portfolio. Bryan Emde, executive director at AdventHealth, estimates this portfolio at $1.8 billion. It includes over 250 projects at varying stages of completion.

CCC Orlando, a non-profit, seeks to unite the local building and construction industry for charity. At their April event, they raised $4,000 for the AdventHealth Foundation.