Panama City Beach Chamber News
Gulf Coast Medical Center Announces $29.5 Million Expansion
Gulf Coast Medical Center has announced plans for the largest expansion project since its opening – a $29.5 million project that will add the region’s only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the area’s first Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and a new Intensive Care Unit.
Gulf Coast Medical Center CEO Brian Baumgardner said, “Our expansion project is important in that it addresses the growing critical care needs of patients in our region – especially those of babies and children.”
Chair of the hospital’s Board of Trustees Dr. Rush Akin started his medical career in Panama City the same day Gulf Coast Medical Center opened nearly 35 years ago. Dr. Akin added, “This expansion is more than bricks and mortar. It’s an investment in the families of Bay and surrounding counties who depend on the hospital for high quality, compassionate care.”
The new 42-bed wing includes:
• 20-bed adult Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
• 18-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
• 4-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (Peds ICU)
Baumgardner added, “Additionally, we are approved by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to construct the area’s first and only Level III NICU as a part of the new 18-bed NICU; six beds will be devoted to Level lll NICU babies.”
Board member Allan Bense said, “Based upon my more than 30 years experience with hospitals in our region, Gulf Coast Medical Center is the most technologically advanced hospital I've seen. From the technology their nurses have at the bedside to the technology their doctors have to care for their patients, they are the leaders."
This year, Gulf Coast Medical Center has announced a number of accreditations and affiliations. They include:
• Top-Performing Hospital recognition by the Joint Commission
• Affiliation with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Cancer Care Network
• Breast Center Accreditation
• Chest Pain Center Accreditation
• Peripheral Vascular Disease Accreditation
• Total Joint Accreditation
• Spine Surgery Accreditation
By focusing on quality care, the hospital has earned the reputation as the area’s quality leader says the hospital’s Chief of Staff Dr. Quang Tran, “Quality care is as important to physicians as it is to patients and their families. As a physician who’s been a part of Gulf Coast Medical Center for many years it’s encouraging to see the fruit of their efforts and to see how patients are benefiting.”
Gulf Coast Medical Center was founded by 19 physicians and opened in 1977. It is a 176-bed acute care hospital. It is part of the Hospital Corporation of American (HCA) family of hospitals. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for February 2012. Opening is expected in 2014.