Lake Wales Medical Center
Lake Wales Medical Center is a 154-bed facility located in Lake Wales, Florida. Serving Lake Wales and Polk county, the facility provides health care services to the larger areas encompassing both Hardee and Highlands Counties also. The service population is approximately 32,300 residents. Surrounding communities include Winter Haven, Haines City, Floritan, Highland Park, Cypress Gardens, and Crooked Lake Park. Midway between the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts in the Florida peninsula, Lake Wales is within 60 miles of both Orlando - to the northeast - and Tampa- to the west. International airports are available at both of these metropolitan areas. Two miles to the southwest of Lake Wales, the Lake Wales Municipal Airport supports local and passing general aviation, recreational glider activity and skydiving.
Services provided at Lake Wales include: 24-hour emergency services, ambulatory surgery, clinical lab, outpatient lab, social services, patient education, radiology, nuclear medicine, inpatient and outpatient surgery, blood bank, physical therapy, respiratory therapy, patient education services and support groups, registered dietitians and nutrition services, intensive care unit, progressive care unit, medical/surgical unit, and a skilled nursing facility attached. The staff at Lake Wales Medical Center consists of physicians specializing in cardiology, dermatology, ENT, gynecology, gastroenterology, nephrology, oncology, otolaryngology, pediatrics, podiatry, and urology.
The history of Lake Wales begins in 1853, the year in which deputy surveyors for the State of Florida deemed the area around the present-day town to be uninhabitable. Unshaken by previous reports, Sidney I. Wailes, agent for the Florida Land and Improvement Co., helped surveyor Col. J.W. Childs obtain a contract to do second survey of the region in 1879. It wasn't long after that enterprising individuals began to purchase land and began making plans to colonize the area, which he named "Lake Wailes." In a capricious act by an ACL railroad official, the town name on the depot sign was changed to "Lake Wales" reflecting the popular usage at the time. A town Council was elected in 1917, thus establishing the City of Lake Wales. Throughout the twentieth and into the twenty-first century, Lake Wales and the surrounding communities have grown and prospered. The citrus industry plays a major role in the lives of the 11,000 residents of the city of Lake Wales. One-fifth of Lake Wales' largest employers are involved in the citrus industry in one form or another. Civic and social organizations range from the Elks Lodge to the Boy and Girl Scouts. Two local newspapers, the Lake Wales News and the Lake Wales Newschief , report on the community and surrounding area. Forty-three churches and synagogues support the spiritual needs of the community. The Historic Lake Wales Society ensures the preservation of the historical and cultural integrity of the city so it can be enjoyed by future generations.