AdventHealth is forming a new region in the middle part of the state to improve access to care, strengthen the network for patients and ultimately improve the overall health of the communities we serve.
The new Heartland Region in the AdventHealth West Florida Division will include Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties where AdventHealth currently operates five hospitals, three urgent care locations, home health and one freestanding ER.
“Over the years, we have seen tremendous growth in our markets in Florida and as a health system we are committed to growing with our communities and ensuring we’re meeting the evolving needs of the patients and consumers we serve,” said Terry Shaw, president and CEO of AdventHealth. “As we look ahead to the future, I’m excited to see AdventHealth connect with this central part of the state and bring critical health care services together in a more intentional and collaborative way that enhances our delivery of whole-person care in the Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties.”
This new region also brings leadership changes to enhance the synergy of care in the Central Florida and West Florida divisions. Jennifer Wandersleben, who currently serves as CEO of Acute Care Services for the Central Florida Division – South Region, has been named CEO of the newly expanded Heartland Region, reporting directly to West Florida Division president and CEO David Ottati, effective Dec. 1.
Brian Adams, who currently serves as CEO of AdventHealth’s operations in Polk County, will move into Wandersleben’s previous role as CEO of Acute Care Services for the Central Florida Division – South Region, which includes the Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. He will report to Randy Haffner, president and CEO of AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division, effective Dec. 1.
“Health care is changing at a rapid pace, as are our community’s health needs. It’s important that we have a structure and investments in place today so we can best serve our patients in the future,” said Haffner. “Jennifer and Brian are proven leaders committed to our mission, and I look forward to continuing to work with them and our West Florida leadership team to ensure residents across Florida have access to world-class, compassionate care.”
“We know that convenient access to health care is vital to the health and wellness of our communities, and that is at the forefront of our commitment to help people feel whole,” said Ottati. “This new region closes a gap in care we have identified along the I-4 corridor and will be an opportunity for these communities to experience our brand of whole-person care and our full network of expertise without having to travel far to get it.”
Wandersleben has been with AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division for more than 20 years. She has served in various leadership roles, including administrator of AdventHealth Apopka and CEO of AdventHealth Winter Park.
Throughout her tenure, Wandersleben has overseen numerous hospital and freestanding ER projects, including the construction of the new Apopka campus, and major expansions at Winter Park, Orlando and Kissimmee.
Under her leadership, AdventHealth has also made major investments in specialty care, including cardiovascular, bariatric and neuroscience services.
“This is such an exciting time to be at AdventHealth as we continue to serve our communities and extend our healing mission. By creating this new and expanded region, we have great opportunities to innovate, transform the care experience for our patients and, ultimately, improve the health of our entire region,” Wandersleben said. “I look forward to working with our Polk, Highlands and Hardee teams, and together, helping our community feel whole.”
Adams has been with AdventHealth for 20 years and has served in various leadership roles including chief operating officer at AdventHealth Altamonte Springs and CEO of AdventHealth Tampa. Under his leadership in Polk County, AdventHealth recently formed an affiliation with the Bond Clinic, which will bring greater access to primary care and specialty options to residents.
Adams has overseen multi-million-dollar development projects at locations including Altamonte, Tampa and Wesley Chapel.
“Throughout my 20 years with AdventHealth, I’ve witnessed the significant impact our physicians and team members have had in Central Florida, and the tremendous strides they’re making in clinical excellence, research and whole-person care,” Adams said. “I’m excited to serve in this new role as we build on these many successes, and am confident that with collaboration and a shared mission, we’ll continue to transform and save lives here in Central Florida and beyond.”
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Comprehensive benefits packages, opportunities for professional development and inclusive work environments were cited as deciding factors.
The changes will advance growth and development for AdventHealth’s facilities, service lines and quality achievements.