South Florida Hospital News
Saturday February 24, 2018
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February 2018 - Volume 14 - Issue 8

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Baptist Health South Florida Announces Plans to Build New Fishermen’s Community Hospital $40 million investment includes goal of $15 million in philanthropic support

Baptist Health South Florida – the region’s largest not-for-profit healthcare organization – has announced plans to design and build an entirely new Fishermen’s Community Hospital in Marathon. Construction of the $40 million facility is anticipated to begin during the first half of 2019, with a goal of raising $15 million of that total through philanthropy.

 
“This plan reflects our vision for improving and investing in the health of our communities with an emphasis on compassion,” said Baptist Health South Florida President and CEO Brian E. Keeley. “We look forward to continuing to implement that vision as we construct a new, state-of-the-art facility to serve the Middle Keys community.”
 
Fishermen’s Community Hospital, which was initially built in 1959, joined the Baptist Health family in July 2017 as an all-purpose, critical access hospital offering a 24/7 emergency room, inpatient and outpatient surgery, diagnostic imaging, lab testing, and physical and occupational therapy. But the hospital has been closed since September 10, when Hurricane Irma devastated the surrounding community.
 
To ensure the Middle Keys community had access to care in the wake of the storm, Baptist Health opened a field hospital on the Fishermen’s Community Hospital grounds. Considering it a temporary solution to the community’s longer-term needs, Baptist Health confirmed it would make a $3 million investment to replace the field hospital with a custom-designed modular hospital in the same location, with expanded capabilities and staffing that will remain in place until the entirely new facility opens.
To support the major initiative, Baptist Health Foundation – the fundraising division of Baptist Health South Florida – will launch the “Our Community, Your Hospital” campaign to achieve the philanthropic goal for Fishermen’s. 
“As a not-for-profit organization, we need philanthropic support to bring this ambitious project to fruition,” said Fishermen’s Community Hospital and Mariners Hospital CEO, Rick Freeburg. “Baptist Health has incurred substantial losses due to the closure of Fishermen’s and the maintenance of a costly 24/7 field hospital. We are committed to providing high-quality healthcare to the Middle Keys community and are pleased to make significant investments in order to do so, but we can’t do it alone.”
“Baptist Health and its physicians, staff and volunteers need community support to make this happen,” said Fishermen’s Community Hospital Board Chair, Jay Hershoff, Esq. “Through the generosity of the community and that of Baptist Health, the dedicated staff at Fishermen’s can continue to provide the high-quality, compassionate care that they have delivered for the last six decades.”
 
 
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