Tampa General Hospital Expands Emergency Care with New Freestanding Emergency Department

Published: Jun 15, 2023

TGH Kennedy Emergency Center in South Tampa expands the footprint of the academic health system’s growing Medical and Research District.


Tampa, FL (June 15, 2023) – Tampa General Hospital (TGH) today announced it is expanding access to its world-class emergency medical care services in the Tampa Bay area with the opening of a new, freestanding emergency department, the TGH Kennedy Emergency Center.


As the latest addition to the Tampa Medical and Research District, the new emergency center is also a key component of Tampa General’s $550 million Master Facility Plan, the largest in the hospital’s history.


Located close to downtown and in the heart of Tampa at 1301 W. Kennedy Blvd., the TGH Kennedy Emergency Center is a state-of-the-art, 15,000-square-foot facility, which will provide adult and pediatric patients in the surrounding areas with high-quality and convenient emergency care as Tampa General continues to focus on its rich history of academic medicine and research.


“At Tampa General, we work every day to provide world-class, accessible care when and where our community needs it, and the TGH Kennedy Emergency Center provides our ever-growing local population another access point to the same excellent, comprehensive care patients expect from us at our hospital,” said John Couris, president and CEO of Tampa General. “This new facility will not only positively impact the health and well-being of our entire community, but it will help enhance our regional economy.”


According to the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council (EDC), Hillsborough County ranks No. 8 in the nation in new residents moving to the county between 2021 to 2022. The Tampa Bay EDC also recorded a total of 25,172 arrivals or 69 people per day in that time period.


The projected economic impact of the TGH Kennedy Emergency Center is $31 million to the broader economy and also represents a more than $15 million investment in construction and development, along with adding more than 60 jobs with an average annual salary close to $72,000.


Built to support the health care needs of the rapidly growing Tampa population, the freestanding emergency center is a full-service emergency department and has 14 exam rooms, two trauma bays, two triage rooms and is fully equipped with dedicated, advanced laboratory and imaging services needed for diagnosing and treating patients, including CT scans, X-rays and ultrasound capabilities. The facility also features a dedicated ambulance entrance to streamline patient intake brought in by emergency medical services.


“When patients are experiencing an emergency, they want and need care at the right time and at the right place,” said Kelly Cullen, executive vice president and COO of Tampa General. “Our new emergency center offers clinically excellent emergency care close to homes, schools and businesses and is provided by a team of board-certified health professionals.”


The TGH Kennedy Emergency Center is staffed by a coordinated care team of board-certified physicians, and hospital-trained nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses and paramedics. TGH’s freestanding emergency department is fully equipped to manage medical emergencies and provide hospital-level care, with the ability to seamlessly transfer patients to Tampa General’s Level I trauma center if needed.


TGH’s newest emergency center will be a great choice for patients experiencing broken bones, abdominal pain, severe back pain, poison or medical overdose, shortness of breath as well as fainting, dizziness or weakness. Emergency care is recommended for chest pain, difficulty breathing, loss of vision, severe abdominal pain or uncontrolled bleeding. It is best to call 911 for persons experiencing life-threatening conditions including chest pain, stroke symptoms or loss of consciousness.


“Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control tell us that across the U.S., emergency departments see more than 131 million patient visits each year and of those, only about 14% lead to a hospital admission,” said Dr. Reggie Saint-Hilaire, medical director of Tampa General’s freestanding emergency centers. “Freestanding emergency departments are an innovative solution that empower us to increase access, reduce wait times and improve the patient experience by providing the same level of emergency care that patients seek from a hospital-based emergency department.”


In 2022, Tampa General treated 132,000 adult patients and approximately 22,000 pediatric patients. “Our team makes our care so special,” said Michele Moran, senior director of Emergency, Trauma and Transport Services, Tampa General. “On behalf of the entire team, we are so excited to welcome our neighbors to our newest emergency center.”


With the addition of the emergency center, the Kennedy Boulevard location is becoming a key connection for health care near downtown Tampa with the TGH Rehabilitation Hospital and the planned TGH Behavioral Health Hospital. Opened in May 2022, the TGH Rehabilitation Hospital provides comprehensive care for patients recovering from debilitating injuries, illnesses, surgeries and chronic medical conditions. The TGH Behavioral Health Hospital is scheduled to begin construction this summer and, when complete, will offer a full range of inpatient and outpatient services led by psychiatrists from USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. The TGH Rehabilitation Hospital is a partnership with Kindred Hospital Rehabilitation Services. The TGH Behavioral Health Hospital is a partnership with Kindred Behavioral Health. Both Kindred entities are business units of Lifepoint Health.


The freestanding TGH Kennedy Emergency Center will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including weekends and holidays. It is scheduled to begin caring for patients on July 6.

For more information about the TGH Kennedy Emergency Care Center and all emergency care provided by Tampa General, visit https://www.tgh.org/institutes-and-services/emergency-and-trauma-center.