SARASOTA, Fla. – (April 12, 2023) – Sarasota Memorial celebrated a major milestone in the construction of a new, 5-story patient tower on its Venice campus. The “topping out” ceremony, a longstanding tradition that signifies work has reached the maximum height and, typically, the half-way point of construction.

When complete next year, the patient tower will add 102 new private patient rooms to the Venice hospital, with dedicated units for surgical, cardiac and orthopedic patients, and expanded space for clinical and support departments. The new bed tower is slated to open by next summer with 68 new private rooms, followed later in the year by an additional 34-bed patient care unit also under way.

“This event is a milestone not only for Sarasota Memorial but for the entire community,” said Sarasota Memorial CEO David Verinder. “The new tower will nearly double the Venice hospital’s capacity, to more than 200 beds and help meet the increasing needs in the community.”

While the hospital’s initial size was limited due to a state law that was in effect at the time of its development, Sarasota Memorial leaders were planning the third tower even before the original two towers opened in November 2021. The abrupt closure of ShorePoint Venice Hospital last summer added to the strain in the community, and prompted Sarasota Memorial to move forward with additional expansion projects that will double the capacity of SMH-Venice’s surgical and emergency departments. Those projects also are expected to be complete by the end of next year.

Leaders of SMH-Venice and the health system, along with physicians, nurses, hospital staff and members of the design/build team participated in the ceremony this week, signing two commemorative construction beams that will become a permanent part of the expansion.

The expansion of SMH-Venice is just the beginning of a series of vital projects that will help expand access to care in south Sarasota County. The health system is in the due diligence phase of planning for medical campuses in North Port. It also is looking at opportunities to bring a new freestanding ER to Venice island and an urgent care center to North Port.

Facts at a Glance

  • Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Venice opened on Nov. 11, 2021. Situated on a 65-acre medical campus, the full-service, 5-story hospital on Laurel Road is Sarasota Memorial Health Care System’s second acute-care hospital, built to serve the rapidly growing south Sarasota County population.
  • SMH-Venice offers a comprehensive range of services, including 10 labor, delivery, recovery, post-partum (LDRP) birthing suites, a 28-bed Emergency Care Center (currently under expansion); 8 surgical suites (including a dedicated robotic suite equipped with the da Vinci robot and 2 obstetrical surgical suites); a 22-bed pandemic-ready Intensive Care Unit; and full array of medical and surgical care.
  • Since it opened, SMH-Venice has been operating at full capacity; the abrupt closing of Shorepoint Health in Venice in September 2022 resulted in an additional influx of patients.
  • To help address the increased volumes, SMH boosted staffing systemwide, including hiring more than 100 displaced staff members from ShorePoint. It also reconfigured space and redesigned patient flow at the Venice campus to increase capacity.
  • Construction currently under way includes the new bed tower, which will add more than 100 new patient care suites, and an expansion of the Emergency Care Center and surgical division, which will double capacity in those areas. Both projects are slated to be complete next year.

About Sarasota Memorial Health Care System

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of care, with more than 1 million patient visits each year across its two hospital campuses, freestanding ER, and network of outpatient care centers. Its flagship 895-bed Sarasota hospital has been consistently recognized as one of the nation’s best, with superior patient outcomes and a comprehensive network of services. The public health system opened its second acute-care hospital, SMH-Venice, in November 2021, with 110 beds and full range of specialties to serve south Sarasota County. Visit for information.