Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando County's Oak Hill Hospital marks its 25th anniversary

Dr. M.P.R. Nathan recalled that it didn't take long after its opening in 1984 to realize how important Oak Hill Hospital had become to the west side of Hernando County. • Nathan, the hospital's first staff cardiologist, told visitors to the hospital's 25th anniversary celebration Saturday that things were often so busy that he and other doctors sometimes performed minor procedures in Oak Hill's corridors. • "There was just no room," he said. "We did what we had to do where we could."

The hospital, which began life as a three-floor, 96-bed facility, has more than doubled in size since then. So, too, has Spring Hill's population, which went from 30,000 in the early 1980s to nearly 80,000 today.

The silver anniversary party reunited a number of original hospital staffers and volunteers who spent much of the morning reminiscing about old times.

Longtime hospital volunteer Manny Hirsch recalled that Oak Hill had many ardent supporters who went to bat for the hospital long before the foundation was laid. He and his wife, Mimi, were among those who collected money and petition signatures to help convince legislators in Tallahassee of a need for the hospital.

"People felt it was important if our end of the county was going to grow," said the 88-year-old Hirsch.

"I look at it now and realize just how right we were. No one can even imagine what Spring Hill would be like without this hospital."

According to Oak Hill's chief executive officer, Mickey Smith, the hospital's parent company, HCA, has poured an estimated $200 million into improvements over the years to make the facility one of the most advanced in Central Florida.

An $8.5 million, state-of-the-art cardiac diagnostic and treatment unit that opened in 2006 eliminated the need for patients in need of open-heart surgery and other invasive procedures to travel beyond the county's borders.

Other important additions include a cancer treatment program, a stroke center and an advanced spine care program.

However, Oak Hill chief of staff Dr. Mallik Piduru said that the hospital can't rest on its laurels. Constant growth has the facility's nine available operating rooms running at nearly full capacity, which limits the pursuit of other programs such as a neurosurgery unit.

"These are certainly things we will want to look at as we plan for the future," Piduru said. "We've come a long way, but we have much more to do."

Logan Neill can be reached at or (352) 848-1435.

Hernando County's Oak Hill Hospital marks its 25th anniversary 06/07/09 [Last modified: Sunday, June 7, 2009 7:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  2. Sue Carlton: Job or family when a hurricane's coming — a very Florida conundrum


    It must seem as foreign to Northerners as shoveling snow is to those of us raised in the Sunshine State: The very-Florida conundrum of having to choose between work and family — between paycheck and personal safety — when a hurricane comes.

    A hurricane helps the rest of us acknowledge the police officers, paramedics, hospital personnel, public works employees and others who stay on the job despite the storm. 
  3. After Tampa concert, Arcade Fire members party, preach politics at Crowbar


    After waiting more than a decade for Arcade Fire’s first appearance in Tampa, fans didn’t have to wait long for their second.

    DJ Windows 98, a.k.a. singer Win Butler of Arcade Fire, performed at a "Disco Town Hall" at Crowbar following the band's concert at the USF Sun Dome on Sept. 22, 2017.
  4. Review: Arcade Fire open hearts, play with passion at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa


    Gloves off, hearts open and disco balls glittering, Arcade Fire scaled the stage for the first time ever in Tampa, pouncing and flailing and performing with all the passion that’s made them one of the world’s most celebrated rock bands this century.

    Arcade Fire performed at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa on Sept. 22, 2017.
  5. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.