Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sun City Center continues fight to keep South Bay Hospital

SUN CITY CENTER — Last time, they felt like their voices weren't heard.

But that hasn't stopped Sun City Center residents opposed to the move of South Bay Hospital.

The community association kicked off a letter-writing campaign this week to send opinions to state officials, representatives and senators. Community leaders are hoping to coordinate complaints about South Bay's attempt to move its hospital to Big Bend Road in Riverview and leave behind an emergency room and diagnostic services.

Late last year, the Agency for Health Care Administration, or AHCA, approved South Bay's plans despite opposition voiced during a community meeting that drew more than 1,000 residents. Some said they needed South Bay to stay because they relied on golf carts to visit spouses in the hospitals.

Others feared being transported by ambulance from a free-standing emergency room to a full hospital 8 miles away during a crisis. Many welcomed the competition offered by St. Joseph's Hospital, which also petitioned the state to build a facility on Big Bend Road.

Now those residents have a new ally.

Last week, an administrative law judge ruled in favor of St. Joseph's earlier request, stating in a 41-page opinion that AHCA erred in its 2005 denial of St. Joseph's petition.

The judge said the growing population of southern Hillsborough County, combined with crowded conditions at nearby hospitals, proves that the area can support two hospitals — South Bay in Sun City Center and St. Joseph's in Riverview.

AHCA will issue a final decision within 45 days of receipt of the judge's recommended order. Officials there would not say how the agency might reconcile its own approval of South Bay's request with the judge's order to grant St. Joseph's request.

Residents hope to weigh in supporting the judge's decision by sending letters, which are being coordinated and composed at the community association Atrium Building on the Central Campus.

For more information on hours and how to get involved, residents can call the community association at 633-3500.

"Sun City Center has always worked for things that were good for the whole county, not just Sun City Center, and we hope the rest of the county will see that this is the best thing for the whole county," said Janet Wilson, a resident for 22 years.

South Bay officials would not say how they plan to respond to the judge's decision, remarking only that they remain committed to Sun City Center and South Shore.

In its proposal, South Bay officials have argued that the 16-acre campus limited their ability to expand. They'd hoped to make the new hospital at Big Bend appealing to patients of all ages by offering services such as obstetrics for a younger population as well as oncology and surgeries for everyone.

They'd also offered to help transport retired residents wishing to visit the new hospital through a shuttle service.

Saundra Amrhein can be reached at amrhein@sptimes.com or 661-2441.

Sun City Center continues fight to keep South Bay Hospital 05/22/08 [Last modified: Friday, May 23, 2008 2:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Encounters: Trial by storm for a rookie principal

    K12

    DUNEDIN — When he nodded off to sleep, the hallway lights outside Michael Vasallo's office were on, so the sudden darkness woke him.

    The glow of his desk phone dimmed.

    Michael Vasallo, right, the first-year principal at Dunedin Highland Middle School, talks with the school's head plant operator Clint Case near the back-up generator on campus. The generator failed just as Hurricane Irma passed through Pinellas County, making for a stressful night. The experience made Vasallo long to return to his regular job, educating middle schoolers. [COLEEN WRIGHT   |   Times]


  2. Who is in charge during a hurricane? Hillsborough County and Tampa still can't agree

    Hurricanes

    TAMPA — Who has the authority to order an evacuation during a hurricane?

    Mayor Bob Buckhorn says he has evacuation authority.
  3. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31

    Blogs

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  4. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win

    Blogs

    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season.
  5. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.