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TO SAY HEALTH CARE in Venice is going through a transition would be an understatement. 

Venice Regional Bayfront Health, a hospital founded by four local doctors in 1951, has been making a series of improvements under its owner, Community Health Systems, Inc., a Tennessee-based company that owns about 200 hospitals, in the hopes of winning back public confidence after a series of problems.

Meanwhile, the publicly owned Sarasota Memorial Hospital, which has an 800-bed hospital in Sarasota, is seeking to win state approval to build a second hospital in Venice. The plan, initially rejected by the state but now being appealed by Sarasota Memorial, calls for building a hospital near I-75 about five miles from the Venice hospital. Supporters of a second hospital say residents need more choices; opponents say there are adequate beds to serve the community. 

Most of the local doctors’ practices and urgent care clinics are affiliated with Venice Regional or Sarasota Memorial, following a trend towards health care consolidation.  For the uninsured or underinsured, Sarasota Memorial, the Senior Friendship Center (for those 50 and older), the Sarasota County Health Department and the volunteer-run Englewood Community Care Clinic provide free or low-cost services.

Hospitals and Clinics 

Englewood Community Care Clinic

6868 San Casa Drive, Englewood

Open on Monday and Thursday evenings from 5 to 8 p.m. No appointments necessary.

A volunteer-operated clinic that serves residents of Charlotte and Sarasota counties who are 18-64 years old, who are without health insurance, and whose income falls at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. 

Englewood Community Hospital, 700 Medical Blvd., Englewood, (941) 475-6571.

Englewood Hospital is a full-service, emergency care facility specializing in heart and vascular care. It’s owned by HCA, one of the largest health care systems in the U.S., with about 250 hospitals. Englewood has physicians in a variety of specialties including orthopedics, gynecology, digital mammography and gastroenterology. It has a 24-hour emergency hotline and a physician referral service. 

Gulf Coast Medical Group Urgent Care

1700 E. Venice Ave., (941) 483-9760; 8431 Pointe Loop Drive, (941) 207-5320, Monday-Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday and holidays 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; in Englewood, 250 W. Dearborn St., (941)473-5100, Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; in North Port, 14575 S. Tamiami Trail, (941) 429-3400, Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. 

North Port Health Center

6950 Outreach Way, North Port, (941) 861-3820

Operated by the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County, the clinic offers services on a sliding fee scale to eligible individuals. Includes primary care, immunizations, dental care and pharmacy.

Sarasota County Health Department, William L. Little Health and Human Services Center

2200 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, (941) 861-2900; Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.

Offers services on a sliding fee scale to eligible individuals. Includes primary care, immunizations, dental care and pharmacy. 

Sarasota Memorial Hospital, 1700 S. Tamiami Trail, (941) 917-9000

An 819-bed regional medical center and one of the largest health systems in Florida. Sarasota has about 4,000 staff, 802 physicians and 1,000 volunteers. A community hospital founded in 1925, Sarasota Memorial is governed by the nine-member elected Sarasota County Public Hospital Board. It is a full-service health system, with specialized expertise in heart, vascular, cancer and neuroscience services, as well as a network of outpatient centers, long-term care and rehabilitation among its many programs. Sarasota Memorial is the only hospital providing obstetrical services, pediatrics and Level III neonatal intensive care in Sarasota County. 

Sarasota Memorial Urgent Care at Venice

997 N. US 41 Bypass, (941) 952-4250

Comprehensive urgent care, on-site radiology and lab. Open every day, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. 

Senior Friendship Center

2350 Scenic Drive, Venice, (941) 584-0041

The Centers for Healthy Aging Medical and Dental Clinics provide health care to adults, age 50 and older, in Sarasota, Collier and Lee counties, who have limited incomes or are uninsured. Retired and volunteer physicians, dentists, pharmacists, and nurses staff clinics. 

Venice Regional Bayfront Health

540 The Rialto, (941) 485-7711

A 312-bed hospital, owned by Community Health Systems, Inc., a Tennessee-based for-profit that owns about 200 hospitals in the U.S. Venice Regional provides comprehensive health care services. It has been named a 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospital by Truven Health Analytics. Venice Regional’s heart program offers medical and interventional cardiology and open-heart surgery with comprehensive rehabilitation services for post-acute care.

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