SARASOTA — Longtime Florida health care and hospital executive Sharon Roush has been named the founding president of one of the newest hospitals in the region, Sarasota Memorial Hospital – Laurel Road.
The 65-acre medical campus and hospital is being built to serve the Venice and south Sarasota County community. It will take about three years to build the new hospital, which will have 90 acute-care beds, 20 beds for observation patients and an emergency care center with 25 treatment rooms, according to a statement.
Selecting Roush for its president is SMH’s first step in building its south county leadership team, the release adds. Her first priorities will be to oversee the campus’ pre-construction plans, including hosting community workshops and meeting with city officials. As the hospital takes shape, she also will focus on staffing and assembling a specialized medical staff and clinical team. Roush is scheduled to step into the new executive role in July.
“Sharon is a proven leader with the unique insight, knowledge and experience to lead Sarasota Memorial’s expansion into south county,” Sarasota Memorial Health Care System CEO David Verinder says in the release. “She understands the complex health care and regulatory issues in our region and the importance of employee, physician and community engagement. I think she’ll be a great advocate and asset to the community and to the health system.”
Roush was previously CEO of South Bay Hospital in Sun City, a 138-bed hospital that’s part of HCA Healthcare’s West Florida Division, for nearly 10 years Before that, she served as CEO for two other HCA hospitals in Florida: Capital Regional Medical Center in Tallahassee and Columbia Hospital in West Palm Beach. Over the course of her 25-year career, Roush also successfully led the development and design of one of HCA’s largest building projects – the replacement hospital, Capital Regional Medical Center.
The Laurel Road hospital will be the most significant addition in Sarasota Memorial’s 93-year history, say hospital officials. “SMH serves a unique role, and I feel privileged to help start this new chapter in a community that has long supported and welcomed its arrival,” says Roush, who, along with her husband, Darryl, has had a home in Sarasota County for eight years and has lived in Sarasota full-time for the past two years.
Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration granted preliminary approval of SMH’s Certificate of Need application for the hospital in 2016, but the project was delayed after surrounding hospitals challenged the state's decision. A judge affirmed AHCA’s decision in May. The state is expected to issue a final order in the coming weeks.