Orlando Health doubles planned bed count for future Lakeland hospital

by | Oct 28, 2022

  • Orlando Health announced the expansion of construction plans for its future Lakeland hospital 
  • The facility, originally set to hold 136 beds, is now planned to house 302
  • The hospital will also feature ICU and progressive care rooms, dedicated space for a neonatal intensive care unit, and a 48-bed emergency department 
  • City officials approved the hospital to hold up to 360 beds, opening the possibility of even further expansion should it be deemed necessary based on community needs 

Orlando Health this week announced that it is expanding the scope of construction for its future Lakeland hospital, increasing the bed count by more than two-fold.

The Orlando Health Lakeland Highlands Hospital, set to open in 2026, was originally drawn to have a 136-bed capacity. After further review of construction plans, the health provider decided to increase the inpatient capacity to 302 beds in order to better meet local healthcare needs.

“Following additional review, Orlando Health determined that it can best meet the healthcare needs of the Lakeland and greater Polk County communities by opening a hospital with more inpatient capacity than we originally announced,” said Jamal Hakim, MD, COO, Orlando Health. “As one of the state’s fastest growing communities, Orlando Health recognizes that it needs to accelerate its delivery of high-quality, outcomes-based healthcare to these communities. We are excited about our revised plan and its many benefits for the community.”

In addition to the increased bed count, the hospital will additionally feature nearly 30 ICU and progressive care rooms, 16 patient rooms to support a women’s birthing program, shelled space for a future neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), a 48-bed emergency department and additional medical and support services including imaging, lab, and pharmacy.

The facility was approved for a 360-bed capacity, granting Orlando Health the ability to expand even further in the future, should it be deemed necessary.

“Our goal is to always provide convenient access to the healthcare services so greatly needed by the community, on a campus our patients and visitors can easily navigate and use,” said Orlando Health senior vice president of asset strategy Matt Taylor.

During the 2021 Fiscal Year, Orlando Health served more than 160,000 inpatients and 3.6 million outpatients.

The Lakeland Highlands Hospital was announced in late 2021, originally set to hold 136 inpatient beds and 24 Emergency Department beds.

According to the plans the city approved in 2019, the campus could ultimately include a 20,000-square-foot ambulatory surgical center, 240,000 square feet of medical office space, 20,000 square feet of retail space, and a 150-room hotel.

The new facility comes as the Lakeland region is experiencing a population boom, particularly in the 65+ demographic, necessitating an expansion of accessible healthcare services.

The current metro area population of Lakeland in 2022 is 358,000, a 1.99 percent increase from the year prior. Since general population tracking was established, Lakeland has seen an increase in residents each year on record.


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