North Broward Hospital System, the parent company of Broward Health, voted on Wednesday evening to move forward with plans to pursue the construction of a new $50 million healthcare facility in Sunrise in conjunction with Memorial Healthcare System, bringing the two health providers together to offer a wide array of medical services.
The move follows a joint effort of the two providers to dissuade the city of Sunrise to enter a partnership with Baptist Health South Florida; Baptist Health’s presence in the crowded Florida healthcare market has increased in recent years, as the company recently added a bevy of new facilities serving Miami-Dade and Broward County.
Despite this, Sunrise City Commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of Baptist Health purchasing the $14.3 million plot of city-owned land covering 25 acres, where it plans to construct a 100-bed hospital.
“Any money that we might make would be returned to the city,” said Baptist Health Chief Operating Officer Bo Boulenger. “we have 26,000 employees that work for us, and 3,000 that work in Broward. We’d very much like to have more hospitals in Broward County to better serve the community. Our desire is to have a more robust hospital presence.”
Sunrise City Commissioners cited their prior difficulties working with Broward Health as reasoning for their choice to grant Baptist Health South Florida the land.
“It leads me to believe this is just about killing the competition,” said Sunrise Assistant Deputy Mayor Mark A. Douglas. “I don’t think Broward Health has always acted in good faith. Baptist seems to be acting in good faith.”
On Jan. 7, before Baptist Health purchased the land, Broward Health and Memorial Healthcare attempted to raise the stakes, offering $14.3 million, up from the original $13.8 million offer for the site.
Boulenger agreed to match the offer during the Jan. 11 Sunrise City Commissioner Meeting, committing to building the 100-bed hospital.
Baptist Health’s facility would become the first acute-care hospital in Sunrise, while the proposed hospital that Broward Health and Memorial Healthcare intend to construct would mark the second.
“I have no doubt that Baptist will put this hospital in the ground quickly,” Sunrise Mayor Michael J. Ryan said. “They’ve worked with our staff for a year.”
The Capitolist reached out to both Broward Health and Memorial Healthcare for comment on the continuing topic, though neither immediately responded.