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Palm Coast Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018 2 years ago

FHF to build $25 million freestanding ER, medical office building in Palm Coast

The two new buildings are planned to be built near I-95 exit 293 at Matanzas Woods Parkway, near Matanzas High School.
by: Ray Boone Contributing Writer

Florida Hospital Flagler agreed to purchase 6 acres in northern Flagler County to build a hospital-based emergency department and a medical office building, according to a news release. The decision was made during a Flagler County Board of County Commissioners meeting on Monday, Nov. 19.

The two new buildings are planned to be built near I-95 exit 293 at Matanzas Woods Parkway, near Matanzas High School.

The 12-bed freestanding emergency department will care for both adults and children, offering the same services found in emergency rooms attached to a hospital, including imaging and laboratory services. FHF will also build a two-story medical office building for a variety of physician practices, including primary care and specialists. In addition, the medical office building will offer another location for patients to access the Palm Coast hospital’s outpatient rehabilitation services. They are looking to add about 40 full-time employees.

“This specific location was carefully chosen to give Flagler County’s northern residents another access point to high-quality healthcare,” said Wally De Aquino, Florida Hospital Flagler chief operating officer, in a release. “Right now, these patients have to drive about 10 miles south on I-95 to reach our emergency department. With this new facility, the residents of northern Flagler County will have a freestanding emergency department and a variety of physicians right in their backyard, ready to care for them close to home.”

The new ER should take some of the volume at FHF, resulting in improved wait times in the hospital's ER, according to De Aquino. Florida Hospital officials have also met with Flagler County’s leaders to discuss expansion plans. In the coming months, they will meet again to develop protocols on patient transportation, as they do not want to overburden county ambulance services for transportation between facilities. Patients who go to the freestanding emergency department and need to be admitted to the hospital will most likely be transported to FHF. However, it's still early in the planning process.

Construction is anticipated to take 10 months and will begin after FHF closes on the property and all necessary permits are obtained. This project is expected to be a $25 million investment in the community’s health care services.

“We believe in investing in the community,” said Dr. Ron Jimenez, FHF CEO. “We will use as many local vendors as we can for this construction project. Once completed, we will need to hire additional physicians and staff, and are looking to add proximally 40 full-time employees.”


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