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New developments coming to Lakeland’s healthcare scene

These local healthcare developments and programs will have you getting well soon. Read on to see what’s planned for a spot near you.

A rendering of the exterior of Orlando Health's future Lakeland Highlands Hospital

Orlando Health will add around 3,000 local jobs in the Polk market with its new developments.

Rendering provided by Orlando Health

With Lakeland’s population on the rise, the need for quality medical care is rising, too. We’re watching these new healthcare developments and programs coming across Lakeland that aim to bridge the gap between residents and the doctors they need.

Orlando Health is breaking into the Lakeland market with two new developments. A freestanding emergency room is slated to open in August 2025 at Lakeland Park Center in north Lakeland.

In spring of 2026, Orlando Health will also open its Lakeland Highlands Hospital. The facility south of the Polk Parkway near Sanlan Golf Course will include around 300 inpatient beds, plus emergency department beds, ICU rooms, and labor + delivery rooms. It will also include space to open a neonatal intensive care unit in the future.

A rendering of an aerial view of the future Lakeland VA Clinic

The new VA Clinic will include 121,000 sqft of usable space.

Rendering provided by James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital

Just north of this new hospital is another medical facility: the new Lakeland VA Clinic at 2080 Meadowland Park Blvd. It’s expected to open this summer, expanding access for the current clinic’s 12,000 patients. This facility will offer primary care and mental health care, as well as specialized care like audiology, prosthetics, and more. The total buildout will cost $100 million.

Medical residents watch as a resident and attending physician practice chest compressions on a simulation dummy.

Lakeland Regional’s GME residents get hands-on experience here and are more likely to stick around Lakeland after their residency.

Photo by LALtoday

More developments are coming toward south Lakeland. Lakeland Regional Health’s freestanding emergency department at 6150 S. Florida Ave. is under construction and set to open in early 2025. LRH also recently celebrated Match Day with its next round of Graduate Medical Education residents — learn more about the program.

Polk County is expanding access to indigent healthcare for those in need. County Commissioners recently approved $4 million for a new community health center just south of Lakeland in Mulberry. Interested in county health programs? Check out an upcoming community event near you to learn more about the Polk HealthCare Plan.

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