The University of Central Florida, in partnership with HCA Healthcare, will begin building a new teaching hospital near UCF’s College of Medicine campus in Lake Nona within the next 18 months. The hospital, which will be named UCF Lake Nona Medical Center, is expected to be open for patients by the end of 2020.

The Florida Board of Governors approved the hospital back in March 2017 after preliminary approval was given by the state. Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration just gave their final approval this week to begin building. The approval by the Florida Board of Governors will give UCF the option to expand the 100-bed teaching hospital to up to 500 beds without any further approval.

No state funding will be used towards building this center. HCA’s North Florida Division will contribute $175 million to build and operate the hospital and UCF will provide the land.

UCF and HCA’s partnership started back in 2015 when they worked together to build medical residency programs throughout Central Florida. Since the start of that partnership, there has been 14 new residency programs and they have provided graduate medical education to 250 physicians.  The building of the UCF Lake Nona Medical Center will help to expand their relationship further.

Third- and Fourth-year medical students will be set to train at the UCF Lake Nona Medical Center once it opens its doors.  The building of this medical center will allow for the UCF School of Medicine to expand its clinical research and hopefully bring in more grants to fund this research. The medical center will also bring more opportunities for medical residency programs as well as be a hands-on learning lab to train students in effective communication and teamwork practices.

The University president, John C. Hitt, says that building this new hospital was one of the university’s most important decisions of the decade. Not only will this hospital be a great new addition to the University, but also to the Central Florida community as more job opportunities will be created.