Orlando Health opens Florida’s first orthopedic hospital


Shane Ersland


Orlando Health recently opened Florida’s first orthopedic hospital, which will provide all aspects of elective orthopedic care and world-class physician training.

The Orlando Health Jewett Orthopedic Institute opened for patients on Aug. 29th. The institute is located at the corner of Columbia Street and Lucerne Terrace in Orlando. The 375,000-square-foot, seven-story facility is the first of its kind in the southeastern region of the US.


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The first phase of the project was completed in March, and includes imaging services, an ambulatory surgery center, a walk-in orthopedic clinic, and a rehabilitation space. 

Orlando Health created a new patient ambassador position to enhance each patient’s hospital stay. A patient ambassador will be assigned to each patient as they check in for surgery, and will serve as a liaison between the patient, loved ones, and their care team, to address any needs they may have.

The new facility will also feature an educational showroom in its lobby to comfort patients and their families. The room serves as a replica of an operating room, and displays equipment, instruments, robots, and implants commonly used in orthopedic surgeries. Interactive technology walks a patient through their procedure and teaches them about equipment and tools that will be used during their surgery.

“As surgeons, we often get questions about what the operating room looks like, and the technology we utilize during each procedure. We included physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals in the planning of this project, which led to these unique touches that will benefit our patients and help ease anxiety before surgery.”

Dr. Michael Jablonski, Orlando Health Jewett Orthopedic Institute physician president

The hospital features 10 operating rooms, 75 smart-patient rooms, and an 11,000-square-foot sterile processing center and cafeteria. Physicians will be able to livestream surgeries to Orlando Health medical residents and collaborate with doctors throughout the world. 

Smart-patient rooms will feature a digital whiteboard with access to medical information, video conferencing, and personal entertainment streaming services. Patients will be able to use advanced remote technology to optimize their comfort level by controlling environmental factors such as temperature and window shades in the coming months.

The seventh floor of the hospital is dedicated to education and research. It includes the largest bioskills lab among the country’s 54 orthopedic hospitals. Residents will be able to simulate real-life surgical procedures using anatomical specimens, medical simulators, and synthetic models in the lab.

“We already have a competitive and sought-after residency program at the institute. The bioskills lab and additional advanced learning opportunities built into the hospital will allow us to continue to attract the most talented orthopedic surgeons to Central Florida.”

— Dr. George Haidukewych, Orlando Health Jewett Orthopedic Institute academic chairman

Attracting a wide variety of orthopedic surgeons will be key, as a recent MedStar Health research review article found that low racial, ethnic, and gender diversity among orthopedic surgeons may contribute to disparities in surgery access and outcomes. About two million patients have a hip or knee replacement in the US each year, but there are stark differences in who gets these procedures and their follow-up recovery.

The hospital’s seventh floor will also feature an auditorium that will host lectures for up to 116 people. Staff will also be able to utilize a 3D printer to work on complex cases and develop unique devices to advance medicine there.

The institute will serve more than 250,000 patients a year. The 50 physicians on staff specialize in every area of orthopedics, including joint replacement, hand and upper extremities, foot and ankle, orthopedic trauma, spine, electrodiagnostic medicine, sports medicine, concussions, musculoskeletal radiology, bone health, and anesthesia.