Gulf Pines Hospital

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The doors are closed, but the activity inside Gulf Pines Hospital has yet to stop.

Liz Register and Dr. Michael White are back nearly three weeks after they walked out. Register, the former administrator, was appointed as director of the hospital by the lending company that finances the hospital.

"What we've got to do is go in, assess the needs, look at what's going on, get the company system back up. Look at the equipment we need and request financing from Medical Capital."

Dr. Michael White, the former ER director, was working with the county to open an urgent care facility when Gulf Pines closed. Now, he says this hospital should offer its services until a new one can be built.

"It would be nice to have this hospital and transition to the next. That way the community has a hospital for now and has a hospital for tomorrow when Sacred Heart comes in."

The Gulf County health care committee is already moving forward with plans to open the urgent care clinic.

Committee member Jim McKnight says they would rather be prepared than wait for the hospital to close again.

"If Gulf Pines opens again and emergency room services become available, it would be our recommendation to the commission that they suspend the urgent care center and just hold it there if it would be needed at a later date, if the hospital would close again."

So for now at least the two health care facilities will move forward with plans to open and wait to see how long it will last.