UF Health The Oaks – Project Update
UF Health is riding the crest of a national trend of bringing leading-edge health care services closer to the community by opening three specialty practices at The Oaks Mall, Gainesville’s most-popular shopping destination.
UF Health The Oaks will feature ophthalmology, otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) and audiology services provided by UF faculty in the 139,000-square-foot former Sears space at 6201 W. Newberry Road. The facility will also have an outpatient surgical center to support ophthalmology and otolaryngology procedures.
UF Health ophthalmology and otolaryngology services are relocating from the nearby UF Health Hampton Oaks and another site. Remodeling is expected to take about a year, and currently it is at the half-way mark. The long-term lease agreement also includes 500 parking spaces adjacent to the facility.
Placing medical facilities in the mall will provide an exceptional experience that is unique in the Gainesville area. It has ample parking and easy accessibility for both local and out-of-town residents. Dining and shopping opportunities abound, giving relatives and caregivers many things to do while they wait for patients undergoing treatment.
For patients, the new location keeps accomplished, dedicated physicians and innovative medicine close to home.
Physicians in UF Health’s otolaryngology practice have been recognized for expertise in all areas of their specialty, including hearing, balance, nasal, sinus, allergy and facial disorders in both adults and children. The new practice will bring under one roof all practitioners for the cochlear implant program, which uses a “bionic ear” to restore hearing. Its radiology and lab services will provide a “one-stop” destination for ear, nose and throat care delivery. Also, UF Health otolaryngologists are working with the university’s research-focused Center for Smell and Taste on the UF Health Smell Disorders Program. This rare, new model pairs clinical care for smell disorders with the benefits of extensive research to better understand and develop treatments for these often vexing conditions.
UF Health has the only ophthalmology practice in the region that covers every subspecialty, including corneal transplants, pediatric ophthalmology, specialty contact lenses, refractive surgery and low-vision services. It also has state-of-the-art surgical and diagnostic equipment. Additionally, it is the only practice in the region to perform novel procedures such as “bionic eye” retinal implants, artificial corneas and miniature telescopes to improve vision loss caused by macular degeneration. UF ophthalmology has a world-renowned Vision Research Center, where the recently approved Luxturna gene therapy for childhood blindness was developed.
The move also allows the practices to expand and grow, raising the prospects for future job growth, UF Health officials said. Nearly 70 employees in the UF Health ophthalmology and ear, nose and throat practices will move to the new location.
UF Health joins a growing list of health care systems nationwide that are bringing medicine to malls. In 2017, the Boston-based Dana-Farber Cancer Institute reached a long-term deal to redevelop a former mall in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Vanderbilt Health has transformed part of a once-struggling mall into a thriving multiclinic health and wellness destination not far from its Nashville, Tennessee campus.
PROJECT UPDATE (June 2019):
The project is being built from South to North and West to East.
The first floor is broken down into 4 areas.
- Area 1: Ophthalmology, the main concourse and an Opus Coffee kiosk.
- Area 2: The east entrance drop-off and pickup area.
- Area 3: The future surgery and radiology area.
- Area 4: ENT and Audiology.
The second floor is broken down as follows:
- Area 1: Roof area.
- Area 2: Roof of drop-off and pickup area.
- Area 3: West side of area 3 is the break area and restrooms.
- Area 4: ENT and Eye administrative space and conference rooms.
Current Project Status:
First floor Area 4:
- Drywall 80% completed.
- Commence priming walls.
First floor Area 1:
- Wall framing 95%.
- Concourse skylight 1 of 3 being installed.
- 2nd floor windows openings completed.
Overall project 45% completed.