The University of Miami Health System has leased office space at Flagler Banyan Square for a large clinic set to open this fall. Meanwhile, NYU Langone Health plans expansion of services in West Palm Beach.
The University of Miami will build a major healthcare clinic in downtown West Palm Beach, joining the crowd of out-of-area health care providers establishing a big Palm Beach County presence to treat existing patients and lure new ones.
The University of Miami Health System recently leased 7,000 square feet at Flagler Banyan Square, the mixed-use project on the old City Hall site, at Banyan Boulevard between Olive Avenue and Flagler Drive.
UMHS will build medical offices on the entire second floor of a two-story building at 185 Banyan Boulevard.
The space is just above the ground floor leased to Big Time Restaurant Group, operator of Louie Bossi’s Ristorante and Rocco’s Tacos. Plans are to open a large Italian restaurant in the space later this year.
The two-story building is part of the 435,000-square-foot Flagler Banyan Square, a long-awaited project expected to draw residents and visitors to this part of the city’s waterfront. Other Flagler Banyan Square buildings include a 208-room luxury hotel dubbed The Ben, a Marriott Autograph Collection hotel opening on Feb. 13, and a 251-unit apartment complex dubbed The Oversea.
The UMHS clinic will feature specialized care in a number of fields. They include urology, gastroenterology, cardiology, neurology, and dermatology, a spokeswoman said. The center is set to open in the fall.
UMHS decided to create the West Palm Beach Specialty Center to boost access to academic medical care for patients in the area, bringing the care “closer to their homes,” the spokeswoman said.
UMHS’s decision to lease a highly visible location on the West Palm Beach waterfront, facing Palm Beach, indicates the health care powerhouse wants a bigger share of the lucrative medical market in Palm Beach County.
Not only are many Palm Beach County residents wealthy and insured, they also are grateful patrons known for their philanthropy.
UMHS already has UHealth at Palm Beach Gardens, delivering services in neurosurgery, transplant, family medicine and otolaryngology; and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, the Miami-based eye hospital with a location in Palm Beach Gardens since 2006.
At the Palm Beach Gardens campus, Bascom Palmer recently opened the Lois Pope Center for Retinal and Macular Degeneration Research. Pope, a Manalapan resident and active philanthropist, donated $12 million to the research center in honor of her mother, who was treated by Bascom Palmer years ago.
In a 2018 interview, Bascom Palmer Chairman Dr. Eduardo Alfonso said Palm Beach County is turning into an “epicenter” of health care excellence, with a growing infrastructure of both treatment and research.
Indeed, UM isn’t alone in establishing a major health care presence in Palm Beach County.
Several other out-of-area health care companies have been doing the same, building major centers in downtown West Palm Beach, just across the bridges from Palm Beach.
One, NYU Langone Health, with medical offices at 101 N. Clematis Street, is rolling out additional services this year.
Plans are afoot to expand patient services by bringing physical therapy, nephrology, gastroenterolopgy, endocrinology, and medical weight loss care to the clinic, an NYU Langone spokeswoman said.
In addition, NYU Langone is adding a specialist in chronic management. This specialist checks on patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, to ensure they are taking their medicines, for instance, the spokeswoman said.
NYU Langone in West Palm Beach office already offers primary and cardiology care. NYU Langone also has a Delray Beach location for cardiac care.
NYU Langone wants to provide continuous care to New York patients who also have homes in Palm Beach County, and who travel back and forth.
“There’s a growing patient volume,” including younger patients in their 30s who are living in Florida at least part of the time, a spokeswoman said.
Patient demand is so strong that last year, NYU Langone opened a patient access center in Boynton Beach. At the center, employees take calls, schedule appointments and help fill prescriptions while New York-licensed nurses will answer clinical inquiries.
Other out-of-area health care providers are vying for patients in Palm Beach County, too.
They either are building new facilities or seeking to expand existing ones in West Palm Beach.
They include Cleveland Clinic, which has offices at CityPlace Tower office building but is seeking a site for a large standalone facility; Mt. Sinai New York, which has medical offices at 625 N. Flagler Dr.; and New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery, the nation’s leading orthopedic hospital, which opened its first Florida clinic on Jan. 27 at 300 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd.