CEO Leigh Massengill can hardly believe that a year has passed since the Medical Center of Trinity opened its doors.
After 40 years, Community Hospital of New Port Richey packed up its bags in February 2012 and moved most of its services to the new location on State Road 54, east of Little Road.
Groundbreaking began much earlier than that, in May 2006, and after a series of obstacles, including the halting of health regulator inspections, the equipment, medical charts and patients were transported to the Trinity location.
The new location is a 236-bed, all-private room hospital. Medical Center of Trinity clinical and acute-care programs include emergency care, women's health and obstetrics, heart and vascular services, men's heath, cancer care, diagnostic imaging, spine and orthopedics, behavioral health, surgical specialties, primary care, neurosurgery and robotic-assisted
Despite struggling to raise public awareness of the new name and location, the medical center saw an 8 percent increase in patients last year to 14,534, compared to its final year in New Port Richey.
Now known as Medical Center of Trinity West Pasco Campus, the New Port Richey hospital primarily offers mental health services.
Aside from quality patient care, Massengill, gives a nod to a convenient location as partially responsible for the success of the center.
"The population is looking for more local options, whether it's a grocery store or a hospital," Massengill said. "Certainly, this is a very convenient location for people to get to. It's highly visible, great roads leading to it and plenty of parking. It feeds into the new reality of everyone's life."
With just a year under their belt, Massengill plans to continue educating surrounding communities about the services the medical center offers. Patients don't need to go to Tampa for most of their healthcare needs, Massengill said.
"We had a pretty broad array of service lines in the first place but it has grown," Massengill said. "We are seeing more complicated patients come in here, which is a tribute to our medical staff. We have been running near capacity for the last six months of 2012 in all of our programs."
If a patient does need to be transferred, they are taken to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, in Hudson, which, like Medical Center of Trinity, is owned by hospital company HCA.
"We didn't want this hospital perceived as a feeder hospital, where if you had something complex you'd have to leave," Massengill said. "We rarely, rarely send a patient out."
The hospital has opened its doors to community organizations for their meetings, has presented a children's art show to thank military veterans and offers weekly classes ranging in topic from childbirth to diabetes management.
The hospital was designed to keep meeting rooms near the entrance of the hospital and do away with the clinical feel associated with the old hospital. Warm colors and friendly art decorates the walls and lends a feeling of comfort to patients and visitors.
"We've tried very hard to open our doors to all sorts of community organizations as a place for them to meet," Massengill said. "We want people to come into the facility and feel comfortable and warm and welcome. When you're a little bit frightened and harried, you know that this is a safe haven and a good place to receive care."
The population of Trinity was estimated at 10,906 in 2010 by the United States Census Bureau, a 154.9 percent population change since 2000.
The southwestern Pasco population growth is reflected in the medical center's own numbers. More emergency room patients have been treated, more surgical procedures performed and more babies delivered in the last year compared to the New Port Richey days.
"I'm so excited for the long-term future of this area," Massengill said. "I'm really pleased and proud that the hospital is here to support that growth. I hope it instills confidence in people that this is an area that businesses are committed to for the long haul."