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North Pinellas Hospital execs talk on new tech investments, expansion plan

Veronica Brezina



Photo of the construction for the new expanded emergency department at the AdventHealth North Pinellas campus. Photo by: Courtesy of AdventHealth

The AdventHealth North Pinellas Hospital is wrapping up its $20 million emergency expansion, but more new investments for the Tarpon Springs hospital go beyond brick and mortar.

AdventHealth North Pinellas is a 168-bed, full-service hospital specializing in cardiovascular medicine, orthopedics and advanced technology.

North Pinellas, at 1395 S. Pinellas Ave., broke ground in 2019 for a new, expanded emergency department that would create 18 private rooms and be staffed with all emergency care-certified nurses and doctors. It has the potential of increasing to 21 private rooms over time.

A close look at the construction scene for the new ED.

“The excitement around this is like nothing I’ve ever seen. Our community has very complex medical conditions and we have a growing elderly population here and are surrounded by assisted living facilities,” AdventHealth North Pinellas Hospital CMO Dr. Michael Longley told the St. Pete Catalyst. 

Dr. Michael Longley: Photos courtesy of AdventHealth

The new ED will nearly triple the square footage of the current ED it’s replacing, which is roughly 10,000 square feet and has 13 beds.

“We will have dedicated imagine suites so patients don’t have to leave the department to have scans done,” hospital CEO and President Jason Dunkel added.

The construction timeline for the ED expansion lagged by three months due to interruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The grand opening for the new department is now scheduled for August.

The new ED, which is located near the main lobby, is part of a larger expansion and renovation plan that includes upgrading the exterior façade to allow the hospital to withstand Category 4 hurricane-force winds and the renovation of the main lobby.

AdventHealth North Pinellas Hospital CEO and President Jason Dunkel.

The conversion for the older ED space is yet to be decided, but it may be used to expand the clinical space, Dunkel said.

Additionally, the hospital also recently built a new catheterization laboratory for vascular surgeons and cardiologists, representing a $1.5 million investment.

While new spaces are developed, the hospital remains focused on acquiring new technology to grow its capabilities.

The latest technology the hospital will begin offering is the CardioMEMS HF System, which uses an implanted device to remotely monitor patients who are suffering congestive heart failure.

“This tech will monitor patients at home using a very small implantable device that measures a patient’s pressure in their arteries and it will notify cardiologists [in real time] when certain thresholds are reached,” Longley said.

The device, which is described as the size of a dime, is implanted into the pulmonary artery and only monitors the patient when they are resting. The medical team is notified of the real-time data via a dashboard.

The new tech, said Dunkel, will allow doctors to know how to respond, such as if they need to change a person’s medication immediately or if that patient needs to be seen promptly.

AdventHealth North Pinellas has consistently been recognized nationally for its superb patient outcomes and services by watchdog organization the Leapfrog Group.

The North Pinellas campus was also one of several AdventHealth campuses that recently received a five-star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

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    Cathie Koch

    June 24, 2021at3:13 pm

    What is an ED?

    Also, it’s very disappointing to see that the name Helen Ellis, who was a significant benefactor of that hospital, has been removed from any reference to the facility.

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