Cleveland Clinic expands west, will open Wellington offices

Cleveland Clinic is opening an office in Wellington in a bid to expand the medical care center’s growing reach into Palm Beach County.

Cleveland Clinic Florida, which has its state headquarters in Broward County’s Weston, already has offices in downtown West Palm Beach, on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard in West Palm Beach and in Palm Beach Gardens.

The Wellington office is designed to deliver the Ohio center’s services to people living away from the coast.

“Given our presence in downtown West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens, we felt the time was right to expand in western Palm Beach County,” said Dr. Wael Barsoum, president of Cleveland Clinic Florida.

The 7,400-square-foot facility will be in the Village Green Center at the corner of Stribling Way and State Road 7.

The office will offer primary care, gastroenterology and cardiology. The office will feature 22 exam rooms, as well as physician offices. The office will start construction in September with completion slated for January.

Barsoum said other specialties might be offered at the office, but it’s not yet decided which ones will be available.

If a physician in Cleveland Clinic’s Wellington office determines a patient needs immediate care, “that patient’s condition dictates the appropriate facility and location for care,” Barsoum said.

However, if appropriate, that patient could be transported to Cleveland Clinic’s outpatient surgery center in Coral Springs or its hospital in Weston, Barsoum said.

Cleveland Clinic’s decision to open a western clinic puts it in direct competition with Wellington Regional Medical Center at 10101 Forest Hill Boulevard. Wellington Regional is surrounded by doctors practicing in medical offices at the Wellington Medical Arts Pavilion.

The Cleveland Clinic expansion also comes as thousands of new homes are slated to be built in the western part of the county during the next 5 to 10 years.

But talks to expand to Wellington have been in the works for about a year, Barsoum said, so “it is purely coincidental that we are expanding at the same time” as new housing is planned.

It may be coincidental, but it’s serendipity, too. Major home builders are banking that the population will steadily spread west as new homes in a variety of price ranges are built.

Cleveland Clinic entered Palm Beach County in 2007, when it leased a small office at the Northbridge Centre at 515 N. Flagler Drive. The medical center soon took a large block of space in the new CityPlace Tower offices at 525 Okeechobee Blvd.

Cleveland Clinic found immediate success in West Palm Beach. It quickly expanded with the help of wealthy Palm Beach patients eager to receive the well-regarded care of the medical provider.

In recent years, other major medical institutions have taken a greater interest in the care, and the pocketbooks, of rich Palm Beach residents.

Last year, Jupiter Medical Center and Mount Sinai Hospital of New York announced a joint venture and leased space for medical offices at 625 N. Flagler Drive, the former Bank of America building in West Palm Beach. The waterfront building is just across the bridge from Palm Beach.

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