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Trinity a hot spot for medicine

As goes Trinity, so goes Trinity Outpatient Center.

That has been the case since 1996, when Morton Plant Mease Health Care opened the 48,300-square-foot center for cardiac services, radiology testing and outpatient surgery and rehabilitation.

Back then, that southwest corner of Pasco County had not yet become the sprawling, lucrative development that it is today.

"There were more cows than rooftops," said John Couris, administrator and chief operating officer for Morton Plant North Bay Hospital in New Port Richey.

The nonprofit Morton Plant Mease lost money on Trinity in the early years, Couris said. But the company was patient: It knew that, eventually, they would come.

"We have a presence in Trinity because it's fast growing and strong," Couris said.

Morton Plant Mease lost a bid to move its New Port Richey hospital operations to Trinity. Instead, state regulators allowed HCA-owned Community Hospital to move its downtown operations to Trinity.

So Morton Plant Mease is focusing on doing other things on its 66-acre Trinity campus.

Most dramatically: a $7-million, 36,000-square-foot office building expected to open late this year or early next. Couris said the building is already 80 percent leased out to doctors.

And the company recently relocated its immediate care center for conditions like ankle sprains or the flu from Hudson to - you guessed it - Trinity.

Fast facts

By the numbers

Number of images - mammograms, ultrasounds, MRIs, for instance - performed by the radiology department:

1996: 1,860

2006: 37,200

NUMBER OF OUTPATIENT SURGERIES:

1996: 148

2006: 3,682

Number of pain management procedures, such as injections for lower back pain:

1996: 8

2006: 378

NUMBER OF ENDOSCOPIES, A PROCEDURE USED TO EXAMINE THE INSIDE OF THE BODY FOR GASTROINTESTINAL CONDITIONS:

1996: 68

2006: 1,914

(All 2006 figures are projections.) Source: Trinity Outpatient Center

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