St. Vincent’s HealthCare will spend $55 million to create a new heart and vascular pavilion at St. Vincent’s Medical Center Riverside.

 

The new pavilion will be located on King Street, next to the St. Johns River, in the space once occupied by Seton Hall.

The pavilion will include 30 medical and surgical rooms and 30 intensive care rooms.

The primary purpose of the facility will be cardiovascular care, including two nursing units devoted to caring for patients who undergo open-heart surgeries and other procedures.

“What this is about is our investment in our cardiology program, which has always been a strength,” said David Meyer, St. Vincent’s HealthCare’s chief marketing and strategy officer.

St. Vincent’s has a long tradition of innovative cardiac and cardiovascular care, noted Samer Garas, an interventional cardiologist.

“[It] goes back nearly 60 years, when one of the first heart surgeons at St. Vincent’s performed the city’s first open-heart surgery,” Garas said. “More recently, our Structural Heart program was the first in Northeast Florida to offer the transcatheter aortic valve replacement procedure.”

“This project will enable us to even more comprehensively and holistically meet our community’s health needs,” said Tom VanOsdol, president and CEO of St. Vincent’s HealthCare.

The four-story, 75,000-square-foot building will be built on stilts, so its first floor will connect to the second floor of what is called the West Wing of the existing hospital, Meyer said.

That decision was the result of flooding that St. Vincent’s Riverside experienced as the result of severe storms, including Hurricane Irma. That storm flooded Shircliff Way, the extension of Barrs Street that enters the medical center, and left parts of King Street underwater, something that also happened during a series of storms in 2005.

The new pavilion will be adjacent to The River House, which is used to house family members of people from outside Jacksonville who are being treated at St. Vincent’s Riverside. It will be just down the street from the Gary and Nancy Chartrand Heart & Vascular Center, which is home to the largest cardiovascular program between Atlanta and Orlando.

Groundbreaking on the pavilion is scheduled for summer 2018 with a projected opening in the fall of 2019.

Charlie Patton: (904) 359-4413