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BMSH to open freestanding Emergency Department

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Bay med at beach

The Joint Venture Board of Bay Medical Sacred Heart recently gave approval for the hospital to build a Freestanding Emergency Department (FED) in Panama City Beach.

The $4.3 million facility will be centrally located on Panama City Beach Parkway (Hwy. 98) near the intersection at Richard Jackson Boulevard at Bay Med at the Beach, pictured above.

Hospital Board of Trustees member and beach business owner Philip “Griff” Griffits said, “This is something that we have needed at the beach for a long time.  Our residents and visitors need faster access to an emergency room, especially when we have an influx of visitors. We’re just thankful that Bay Medical is making such a significant commitment to the beach.”

Panama City Beach Mayor Gayle Oberst agreed.  “We are excited to see this happen and have hoped for an emergency room for several years. It will greatly complement and expand our existing medical services on the beach and will also assist in relieving some of the pressure from existing emergency rooms.”

She added that the Beach Emergency Center will also help the first responder and EMS teams, especially since the construction planned for the Hathaway Bridge and 23rd St. will last for two to three years.

Hospital-based FEDs are becoming more prevalent in the state, providing an extension of hospital Emergency Room care in areas that don’t have immediate access to the hospital. The Beach Emergency Center will provide the same services as the main hospital emergency room, with the exception of trauma which would still be taken to Bay Medical’s main campus — the closest designated trauma center.  Any patients in need of higher levels of care such as surgery or cardiac catheterization will be transported after being evaluated and stabilized by the emergency room physician.

CEO Steve Grubbs said, “We know this is a huge need for the beach and it is an ideal location. Fortunately, we should be able to have it operational by the Fall, since we already have the space and the building, and a wide range of diagnostic services on site.”

The 8,000-square-foot facility will feature nine treatment rooms including space designated for trauma, obstetrics and gynecology, isolation and seclusion.  The 24/7 facility will be staffed by board certified emergency room physicians and is projected to employ 35 people in the first year.  Patients who are seen at the Emergency Center will be medically evaluated and referred to local providers as appropriate. Grubbs said the next step is finalizing the architectural and operational plans and getting approval from the state.

Chairman of the Hospital Board of Trustees Elizabeth Walters said, “The Bay Medical Emergency Center will not only greatly enhance care at the beach, it is also a critical strategy for the growth and success of the hospital.  We can meet our mission of caring for the community along with our fiduciary responsibility of ensuring the future of the hospital for generations to come.  It’s a win for everyone.”

 

 

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