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Two hospitals, Tampa Community and Memorial, to merge in November

Tampa Community Hospital at 6001 Webb Road will merge with Memorial Hospital of Tampa on Nov. 9, according to Hospital Corporation of America, which owns both facilities. The company made the announcement this week. [Google Maps]
Tampa Community Hospital at 6001 Webb Road will merge with Memorial Hospital of Tampa on Nov. 9, according to Hospital Corporation of America, which owns both facilities. The company made the announcement this week. [Google Maps]
Published Sep. 26, 2018

National health care chain Hospital Corporation of America has announced plans to turn Tampa Community Hospital into a satellite branch of Memorial Hospital in Tampa by the start of next month.

Tampa Community, located at 6001 Webb Road near the Town 'N Country Park neighborhood, will merge with the larger Memorial Hospital on Nov. 9, according to its owners. Memorial Hospital is at 2901 Swann Ave., about nine miles south.

Once the transition is complete, Tampa Community Hospital will shift away from its current comprehensive medical, diagnostic and surgical offerings and adopt a focus more tailored to behavioral health care and substance abuse rehabilitation.

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"Over the last several years, we have seen our area's health care needs evolve," HCA spokeswoman Tara Jerse wrote in an email to the Tampa Bay Times. "As a health care provider, our goal is always to serve our community by providing our patients the services they need and adjusting as our community's needs change."

This week's announcement took some staff by surprise, and raised questions about the future of the hospital's surgical staff. HCA officials said those concerns were to be addressed with staff in private "town hall" meetings Wednesday.

It was unclear if any current staff at Tampa Community Hospital would lose their jobs, or how many may be transferred to other HCA-owned hospitals in the Tampa Bay region. According to its website, Tampa Community employs more than 300 physicians in addition to a staff of about 500.

As of Wednesday afternoon, HCA's West Florida branch had not filed any notices with the state Department of Economic Opportunity indicating looming layoffs. Under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, businesses are required to file those notices 60 days in advance of any branch closings or "mass layoffs" that would affect at least one-third of its current staff.

Jerse said the merger would expand the services currently offered at Tampa Community Hospital. The facility will still operate a full-service emergency room as well as its in-patient substance abuse program, "The Oasis," one of a handful of hospital-based detox programs in the country.

"We believe the expansion of these services at Tampa Community will help both hospitals better serve the community," Jerse said in the email. "We will work diligently to help ensure continuity of care for our patients and a smooth transition."

Contact Anastasia Dawson at adawson@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3377. Follow @adawsonwrites.

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