Hospital continues to expand services that rival, and surpass, other hospitals.
Florida Hospital Flagler Foundation Chairman Tony Papandrea knows firsthand the importance of having quality hospital care close to home. Not just because he serves on several boards of the hospital, but because a loved one, his wife Dorothy, has needed that care.
“My wife is a cancer survivor, “Papandrea said. “She was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer in January 2015.”
The Papandrea’s could have gone to any nationally known hospital, but they made the decision to stay in Flagler, knowing that quality care was available right in their community.
“The reason we chose to do what we did is the family atmosphere of Florida Hospital Flagler,” Papandrea said. “As of August or September 2015 she is cancer free.”
The state of the art equipment, medical care and treatment options offered at Florida Hospital Flagler were highlighted at the groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, Feb. 15, for the new $15 million dollar, 32-bed expansion.
“This hospital is this community’s hospital,” said hospital board member Barbara Revels. “The citizens of Flagler County are well served and well cared for. We want to spread the word in our community that this is a hospital a patient would come out of and recommend.”
The addition of the 32 beds on the third floor over the Emergency Room entrance will bring the total number to 147 beds. Sixteen of the 32 beds are currently observation beds on the third floor which will be certified as hospital beds.
“Patients have to wait longer for a room than they should have to,” Papandrea said. “This addition is not about money, it is not a money maker. The expansion is going to move the hospital up from its rural hospital status, which will lose some federal government advantages.”
Papandrea said the Foundation has also pledged to put sleeper sofas in each of the 32 rooms.
“When caring family members stay over with their loved ones, there is less stress, less chance of infection; they are health advocates for the patient and it enhances patient care,” Papandrea said.
Flagler County Commissioner George Hanns gazed upon the building and reminisced about the old days.
“Remember when the county was going to have to run the hospital?” Hanns asked. “We were going to have to assess a tax, and then this group came to us and wanted to build a hospital. I asked ‘who do I hug first?’”
The expansion will be an additional wing located by the emergency room entrance. Construction is expected to begin by the end of February and be completed by Nov. 2016.