SMH | 2024 Community Update

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Message from President & CEO David Verinder

Our Commitment to Patient-Centered, Patient-Safe Care

As Sarasota Memorial approaches its 100th anniversary in 2025, we are proud of our long tradition of health care excellence. Thanks to the strong support of our community and Hospital Board and the tireless efforts of our exceptional staff and volunteers, the health system has received many accolades over the years for our patient-centered, patient-safe care.

This update highlights our recent work to improve the health and well-being of those we serve. From opening world-class medical facilities and expanding vital services to attracting top-notch physicians and clinicians to our fast-growing community, Sarasota Memorial has accomplished a great deal in a short amount of time.

Yet amid our dramatic growth, our team remains committed to providing the best possible experience for each and every patient who comes through our doors, whether it’s in the hospital, emergency room, outpatient center, clinic or physician office.

All of us at Sarasota Memorial are grateful for the opportunity to serve you. We look forward to providing you with the highest level of care for decades to come.

Sarasota County’s Health Care Safety Net

• Sarasota Memorial is the only hospital in Sarasota County Providing trauma care, maternity services, newborn intensive care and pediatric services, as well as behavioral health care for people of all ages. It is responsible for 90% of Charity/Medicaid days among all Sarasota hospitals (based on state data).

• The cost of mission services reached $284 million in 2023, including charity care, clinics and other community programs; bad debt; around-the-clock specialty care for trauma, emergency and hospitalized patients; and Medicaid/Medicare losses.

Independent Oversight and Transparency

The only public hospital in the region, Sarasota Memorial is governed by the Sarasota County Public Hospital Board, which includes nine unpaid citizens elected by local voters to four-year terms. Hospital Board members are rooted in our community and have extensive expertise relevant to the complexities of health care, including backgrounds in patient care, financial and strategic planning, construction, technology, governance, public service, and more.

Board members include,

Charged with setting the strategic direction of the organization and serving as stewards of public resources, the Board establishes the organization’s annual budget in a transparent process, which includes public hearings that are open to the community.

Tax revenues included in the budget are devoted to programs, services, facilities and equipment that help respond to the community’s evolving health care needs.

Sarasota Memorial: Governed by the Elected Members of the Sarasota County Public Hospital Board

Sarah Lodge Chair

Central District Seat 1

Currently serving through Nov. 2024

Bridgette Fiorucci, BSN, RN


Central District Seat 2

Currently serving through Nov. 2026

William Noonan Member

Temporary Appointment )

At Large Seat 3

Currently serving through Nov. 2024

Brad Baker

First Vice Chair

Northern District Seat 1

Currently serving through Nov. 2026

Gregory Carter

Asst. Treasurer

Southern District Seat 2

Currently serving through Nov. 2026

Tramm Hudson Member

At Large Seat 2

Currently serving through Nov. 2024

Patricia Maraia, BSN, RN

Second Vice Chair

Southern District Seat 1

Currently serving through Nov. 2026

Sharon Wetzler DePeters, APRN


At Large Seat 1

Currently serving through Nov. 2024

Victor Rohe Member

Northern District Seat 2

Currently serving through Nov. 2026

from left, Tramm Hudson, Victor Rohe, Sharon Wetzler DePeters, Patricia Maraia, Brad Baker, Sarah Lodge, Bridgette Fiorucci and Greg Carter (Not pictured: William Noonan)

Providing the Highest Level of Care, Close to Home

Sarasota County’s Only Trauma Center

SMH-Sarasota is equipped with advanced treatments, technology and highly skilled trauma surgeons and specialists who provide lifesaving care 24/7, ensuring that severely injured residents can be treated at their local hospital rather than having to be transported outside the county. In 2023, the program was redesignated as the county’s only Level 2 Trauma Center following an on-site evaluation by a team of experts from the American College of Surgeons, who determined that SMH met or exceeded rigorous standards of trauma care.

• Nearly 5,000 trauma patients treated annually

• Patient survival rates are significantly better than national benchmarks

Facts & Figures

172,400 Visits at

Nationally Recognized Care at the Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute

Sarasota Memorial’s Jellison Cancer Institute provides a level of personalized care and support found only at the nation’s top cancer centers, whether it’s genetic testing and advanced imaging, innovative surgical tools to remove difficult cancers or access to ground-breaking therapies. The Institute’s Thrive Program is designed specifically for cancer patients and their families, encouraging and supporting them through each step of their cancer journey, including life after treatment.

• SMH earned “high performer” ratings for lung cancer surgery, colon cancer surgery, prostate cancer surgery, urology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery and the treatment of leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma in U.S. News’ 2023-2024 “Best Hospitals” study

• Highest level of accreditation by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC)


31,300 Surgeries

Performed Annually
Emergency Rooms Annually
Babies Delivered Annually

World Class Heart & Vascular Services

Sarasota Memorial delivers the most comprehensive cardiovascular care in the region, from the latest preventive and diagnostic options to advanced procedures and therapies and rehabilitation. Patients benefit from our expert team’s decades of experience and success in treating a wide range of cardiovascular conditions, including the most complex cases.

• SMH earned “high performer” ratings in heart bypass surgery, heart attack and heart failure treatment, aortic valve surgery, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair and transcatheter aortic valve replacement in U.S. News’ 2023-2024 “Best Hospitals” study

Leading Provider of Orthopedic Care

Nationally recognized for excellence, Sarasota Memorial’s Orthopedic program helps patients with joint, spine and other orthopedic conditions regain their quality of life. The highly skilled team specializes in a wide range of innovative treatments tailored for each patient’s needs, including the latest robotic and minimally invasive surgical options and implant technology, as well as rehabilitation and medically integrated fitness and wellness classes.

• Ranked among the top 10% of hospitals in the nation for orthopedics and hip and knee replacements in U.S. News’ 2023-2024 “Best Hospitals” report

Top-Ranked Neurology & Neurosurgery Services

Sarasota Memorial is an acknowledged leader in the treatment of complex neurological conditions. SMH-Sarasota is Sarasota County’s only Comprehensive Stroke Center, a state designation given to facilities with the most advanced treatments for patients experiencing complex strokes. SMH-Venice is a Primary Stroke Center, a designation awarded to centers that follow stringent performance standards for stroke care.

• U.S. News rated SMH among the nation’s top 10% for neurology, neurosurgery and stroke care in its 2023-2024 “Best Hospitals” study

Ranked Among Nation’s Best for Rehabilitation

Sarasota Memorial’s Rehabilitation team provides a full range of inpatient and outpatient therapy to meet the medical and mobility needs of people recovering from an illness or injury.

• SMH was named among U.S. News’ 50 Best Hospitals for Rehabilitation Care, 2023-2024

• SMH’s Nursing and Rehabilitation Center also was named among U.S. News’ “Best Nursing Homes”

Listed Among Top Hospitals for Care of Mother & Baby

Sarasota Memorial is the only hospital in Sarasota County that provides obstetrics and maternity services, high-risk pregnancy care, a neonatal intensive care unit for premature and critically ill newborns, and pediatric services. No other hospital in the region is as equipped as Sarasota Memorial to help deliver healthy babies.

• SMH was listed among U.S. News’ 50 Best Hospitals in the nation for Obstetrics/Gynecology Care, 2023-2024

Pioneering Surgical Services

In 2006, Sarasota Memorial deployed the first commercially available da Vinci surgical robot in Florida, and has remained at the forefront of minimally invasive and robotic surgical techniques ever since. In 2023, the health system marked its 15,000th surgery utilizing da Vinci, a milestone that has helped Suncoast patients achieve better outcomes. Our surgeons are among the most experienced in the nation in using minimally invasive and robotic technologies, which give the precision and flexibility to treat conditions through tiny incisions instead of a large opening, typically resulting in less pain and faster recovery.

Stepping Up to Meet the Demand for Care in South Sarasota County

Sarasota Memorial Hospital – Venice Doubles in Size

• Since opening its doors in late 2021, Sarasota Memorial Hospital – Venice has provided the South County community with enhanced access to the health system’s nationally recognized expertise and high quality of care, offering a full range of medical and surgical services and maternity care.

• To meet the needs of the fast-growing region, the hospital is doubling its capacity in 2024, increasing its number of private patient suites from 110 to 212, expanding its emergency room and surgical department and enhancing radiology services. New medical campuses also are planned for North Port.

• SMH-Venice has become a critical safety net for the southwest Florida region, stepping up to address pressing local needs following the closure of the for-profit ShorePoint Health Venice Hospital in 2022. That same year, it was among the few hospitals in the region to remain fully open and operational during and after Hurricane Ian.

• The hospital has served as a major economic engine for the community, generating thousands of jobs at the campus and supporting local businesses. In recent months, the hospital has hired more than 200 new team members to staff its new and expanded facilities and now has a 1,500-member workforce.

• SMH-Venice has earned numerous honors for its quality of care, including the highest “A” grade for patient safety from the Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital watchdog organization.

1.7 Million


Annually Systemwide
Beds at
2 Hospitals 700 Dedicated Volunteers

Building Hope for Cancer Patients

In 2023, the health system began construction of a new 7-story outpatient cancer center on the SMH-Sarasota Campus. When it opens in 2025, the Milman-Kover Cancer Pavilion at the Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute will include an expanded breast health center, outpatient surgery, advanced HDR brachytherapy, radiation oncology, infusion, and diagnostic imaging, plus oncology physician practices and integrative care clinics. The facility also will include a large new parking garage.

The pavilion will be the third in a series of premier facilities that are part of the health system’s expanding Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute, which was launched to address the rising number of local cancer cases. An oncology inpatient and surgical tower opened on the Sarasota campus in 2021, while an advanced Radiation Oncology Center opened on University Parkway in 2020.

More than bricks and mortar, the new facilities are places of hope and healing, giving local cancer patients access to leading specialists and the latest technology, treatments, clinical trials and supportive care in their own community.

Cornell Behavioral Health Pavilion Responds to Growing Mental Health Care Needs

2023 marked a new era for behavioral health in Sarasota, with the opening of the state-of-the-art Cornell Behavioral Health Pavilion. The new pavilion provides a complete continuum of mental health services under one roof, from an intensive outpatient program and partial hospitalization to comprehensive inpatient care. With private rooms tailored for children, adolescents, adults and senior patients, the pavilion offers a warm, welcoming environment where people can be comfortable seeking treatment for a range of behavioral health issues.

The new center replaced an aged psychiatric facility on the Sarasota campus that served a vital safety-net role for more than 50 years. Sarasota Memorial remains the only hospital in Sarasota County providing behavioral health care for patients of all ages.

Enhancing Care through Leading Edge Research and Innovation

In 2023, Sarasota Memorial began construction on the Kolschowsky Research and Education Institute on Arlington Street on the Sarasota Campus. When it opens in 2025, the Institute will include physician training, clinical education and an expanded medical library. It also will house a new, state-of-the-art simulation center to provide safe, hands-on training for clinicians. Currently, education programs are spread throughout the hospital, and moving them into an adjacent facility will create more space for bedside care inside the hospital. The health system’s expanding clinical research division, which brings the latest treatments for cancer and other diseases to our community, also will move into the Institute.

Attracting New Physicians to the Region

With communities around the nation facing shortages of doctors and nurses, the health system has proactively taken extra steps to attract and keep health care providers in our region.

Sarasota Memorial serves as a training ground for the next generation of caregivers:

• In 2017, the hospital launched Sarasota’s first physician residency program in partnership with Florida State University’s College of Medicine. Physicians are now training each year in high-demand areas including:

- 39 Internal Medicine residents working at Sarasota Memorial Hospital and at the health system’s internal medicine practice in Newtown.

- 27 Emergency Medicine residents

- 2 Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellows.

• Research and experience demonstrate that physicians typically decide to practice where they trained. To date, nearly half of the residents and fellows who completed the advanced training at Sarasota Memorial have opted to remain at SMH, while nearly 70% have stayed in Florida, helping to offset local and statewide physician shortages.

• Sarasota Memorial’s nurse and pharmacy residency programs are also attracting new nurses and pharmacists and helping them successfully transition into professional practice.

Our recruitment and retention efforts have been greatly assisted by the health system’s national reputation for excellence, both as a health provider and as a workplace. In 2024, Sarasota Memorial was included on Forbes’ list of “America’s Best Large Employers.”

First Physicians Group Fills Gaps in Care

In addition, the health system’s First Physicians Group network of physician practices continually draws new providers to the region to care for our growing number of patients. The group now has more than 580 physicians and advanced practice providers delivering expert specialty and primary care throughout the Suncoast.

Region’s Largest Employer

Amid a tight job market, Sarasota Memorial was able to hire nearly 3,600 new staff in 2023. 68 percent were RNs and clinical personnel, while 32 percent were other front-line support staff. The health system currently is the region’s largest employer with more than 10,000 staff, and has been successful at retaining team members: Our overall employee turnover rate is lower (better) than national and regional averages.

Investing in Our People and the Community

• $900 million in payroll supports local workforce

• $2.4 million investment in workforce development and staff training and education

• $1.6 billion in operating expenses that help support local businesses and community members

• $196.7 million in facilities and equipment upgrades to improve care

10,000 + Staff

Sarasota County’s Largest Employer


580 +

Staff Members
First Physicians Group Providers (2023)

Advocates Dedicated to Protecting Patient Autonomy and Addressing Concerns

At Sarasota Memorial, we understand the challenges that patients and families experience during a health crisis. Whether in the hospital, emergency room, outpatient center, clinic or office, Sarasota Memorial’s staff are committed to building trusted relationships with patients and their families, and providing personalized care and support.

If you need information or have a question or concern — from quality of care to policies and procedures or using our services — our Patient Advocacy team is available to help:

• resolve questions, concerns, frustrations or complaints about any part of the patient experience in any area of the health system

• address unmet patient needs

• ensure patient rights and autonomy are respected

• discuss a concern between a patient or family member and the medical team

• provide access to support, information and resources needed to make health care decisions

To contact the Patient Advocacy Team:

• SMH-Sarasota: (941) 917-1311, or email

• SMH-Venice: (941) 261-3540, or email

Support During Difficult Times

Sarasota Memorial also offers spiritual care services to support patients and families dealing with illness, injury, a new diagnosis or life change. Our specially trained social workers and counselors also are available to provide support.

Financial Assistance and Billing Questions

Sarasota Memorial is committed to transparency in our billing and financial services. Our representatives and financial counselors are available to answer questions and address concerns, help with financial assistance and payment options, and provide personalized estimates. Call (941) 917-1540, or email

★ New Facilities to Serve North County Residents

Work is under way to construct a new freestanding Emergency Room on Lorraine Road and a new Urgent Care Center on State Road 70 to help serve residents in the northernmost portion of our community, which is experiencing significant population growth.

★ North Port & Wellen Park Campuses Moving Ahead

Master planning is under way for two new south county medical campuses, including an undeveloped 32-acre site at Sumter Blvd. at I-75 in North Port and a 28-acre vacant property in Wellen Park.

Sarasota Memorial will work with city leaders and surrounding neighborhoods to develop the two sites. The health system plans to break ground in 2025, with the goal of providing residents convenient access to the full range of hospital services, outpatient care and physician offices.

Clark Rd. Bee Ridge Rd. Fruitville Rd. University Pkwy. Laurel Rd. N.RiverRd. Toledo Blade Blvd. Sumter Blvd. Lorraine Rd. Jacaranda Blvd.
Venice North Port
Osprey Bradenton

Sarasota Memorial Network of Services


Sarasota Memorial Urgent Care & Health Care Center at Heritage Harbour

1040 River Heritage Blvd., Bradenton (941) 917-6440

2 Sarasota Memorial Health Care Center at University Parkway 5350 University Parkway ı (941) 917-4777

3 Sarasota Memorial Urgent Care Center at University Parkway

5360 University Parkway ı (941) 917-1234

4 Brian D. Jellison Cancer Institute Radiation Oncology Center 5370 University Parkway ı (941) 917-7575

5 Sarasota Memorial Urgent Care Center at St. Armands

500 John Ringling Blvd. ı (941) 262-4750

6 Sarasota Memorial Breast Health Center Waldemere Medical Plaza

1921 Waldemere Street ı (941) 917-4101

7 Sarasota Memorial Heart Pavilion

1540 S. Tamiami Trail ı (941) 917-7070

8 Cornell Behavioral Health Pavilion

1625 S. Osprey Avenue ı (941) 917-7760

9 Sarasota Memorial Hospital, ER & Trauma Center - Sarasota Campus

1700 S. Tamiami Trail ı (941) 917-9000

! Sarasota Memorial Urgent Care Center at Bee Ridge

5590 Bee Ridge Rd. ı (941) 262-4950

# Sarasota Memorial Urgent Care Center at Stickney Point 6331 S. Tamiami Trail ı (941) 917-5678

$ Sarasota Memorial Health Care Center at Clark Road 5880 Rand Blvd. ı (941) 917-5111

% Sarasota Memorial HealthFit 5880 Rand Blvd. ı (941) 917-7000

& Sarasota Memorial Nursing & Rehabilitation Center 5640 Rand Blvd. ı (941) 917-4950

( Sarasota Memorial Health Care Center at Blackburn Point

929 S. Tamiami Trail, Osprey (941) 261-4900

) Sarasota Memorial Hospital & ER - Venice Campus 2600 Laurel Rd. E., North Venice (941) 261-9000

* Sarasota Memorial Urgent Care & Health Care Center at Venice

997 U.S. 41 Bypass N., Venice (941) 261-4250

+ Sarasota Memorial Urgent Care Center at South Venice 8431 Pointe Loop Dr., Venice (941) 261-6800

, Sarasota Memorial ER & Health Care Center at North Port 2345 Bobcat Village Center Road, North Port ı (941) 257-2800

Local Care, National Acclaim

Sarasota Memorial’s quality and outcomes have been repeatedly recognized among the nation’s best, substantiated by independent reviews.

• 5 Stars for Quality 2016 – 2023: The only hospital in Florida to receive the highest five-star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid in all reporting periods since the program’s inception in 2016.

• U.S. News Honors: Sarasota Memorial has been continually recognized in U.S. News’ annual “Best Hospitals” reports. In 2023-24, we were among the top hospitals for 20 types of care, including 2 specialties on the “50 Best Hospitals” list: Rehabilitation and OB/Gynecology.

• World’s Best Hospital 2019 – 2024: SMH has been listed among Newsweek’s World’s Best Hospitals for 6 years.

• Straight A’s for Safety 2016 – 2024: The Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital watchdog organization, has assigned Sarasota Memorial a top “A” grade for patient safety on every hospital report card released since 2016.

• Age-Friendly Recognition from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement: SMH has earned the special designation for following best practices to deliver safe, high-quality care to older adults.

• Best Large Employer/Workplace: Sarasota Memorial was included on Forbes’ list of “America’s Best Large Employers” for 2024, and was the No. 1 healthcare employer in Florida in 2023. Newsweek also recognized SMH among its 2024 “Greatest Workplaces for Women”.

• Magnet Recognition 2003 – 2023: Sarasota Memorial earned Magnet designation, the nation’s highest honor for nursing excellence, for the 5th time in 2023. We are the only hospital in the region to ever earn Magnet status, and one of fewer than 1% of hospitals nationally to receive it 5 times in a row and for 20 consecutive years.

Support World-Class Care

The Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation is the philanthropic partner that supports Sarasota Memorial’s world-class care.

For information or to make a gift, please call (941) 917-1286 or visit

Volunteers Make a Difference

Sarasota Memorial’s volunteers provide vital support throughout the health system.

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, please call (941) 917-1008 (Sarasota) or (941) 261-1008 (Venice).

Nursing leaders involved in all 5 Magnet Designations achieved in the past 20 years for nursing excellence include, left-right, Susan Grimwood, Pam Beitlich, Yulonda Greene, Cindy Taylor, Connie Andersen, Lisa Baumgardner, Jackie Garabito, Cameron Watt and Lisa Hinds.

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