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The Villages
Wednesday, July 24, 2024

The Villages’ name dropped from UF Health facility

Heather Bentley Long
Heather Bentley Long

UF Health The Villages Hospital is now named UF Health Spanish Plaines Hospital.

“The new name reflects UF Health’s continued commitment to providing world-class, leading-edge patient care to The Villages community and signals our continued dedication to serving residents throughout the region, better aligning with the hospital’s specific location,” said Heather B. Long, chief executive officer of UF Health Central Florida.

She said UF Health, in conjunction with The Villages leadership, chose the name Spanish Plaines to pay tribute to the vibrant business and commercial district of Spanish Plaines, the longstanding designation for the area of The Villages immediately north of the community’s original downtown area — Spanish Springs. The new name represents The Villages’ deep-rooted Spanish theme, which can be found throughout the area’s architecture, as well as in the names of buildings, streets and bodies of water.

“This new UF Health Spanish Plaines Hospital name not only cements our presence within the existing business and commercial district of Spanish Plaines, but reinforces our commitment and investment in The Villages as we continue to add new technology and clinical areas of focus to the hospital,” Long said.

Since purchasing the hospital (formerly The Villages® Regional Hospital) in January 2020, UF Health has invested more than $34.7 million in new technology and enhanced services to bolster patient care and improve the health and well-being of residents of The Villages and surrounding communities, she added.

In 1997, Villages founder Harold Schwartz appeared on billboard making a bold promise to Villagers about the future of healthcare in the community.

Founder of The Villages Harold Schwartz lobbied hard for a hospital in the early days of Florida’s Friendliest Hometown. He famously placed a billboard prominently on U.S. Hwy. 27/441 promising to make the hospital a reality.

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