Ask pretty much anyone in Port St. Joe and they will tell you this area desperately needs a health care facility. Well in less than a month, this brand new hospital will open its doors.
It's taken three years to construct, but the Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf has taken shape.
Thursday was another milestone as hundreds showed up to help dedicate the new 25,000 square foot facility.
The 25-bed facility will feature 24-hour emergency services, inpatient and surgical care treating those who have minor or critical injures.
Roger Hall is the hospital's president. And says everyone in Gulf, Franklin, and Bay Counties will benefit greatly from this hospital.
"You look at the community for them to be able to have economic development they need county infrastructure, they need education, and health care. So this will be able to support the community in further growth," Hall said.
The Sacred Heart name has a special meaning for J.V. Gander. Twenty-five years ago, his two grandsons were born premature in Panama City and weren't expected to make it. They had to be taken to Sacred Heart in Pensacola.
"And as I say they are 25, they are over 200 pounds and doing well. Thank God for Sacred Heart," Gander said.
Sacred Heart Foundation raised over 10 million dollars in donations and pledges for the new hospital. The St. Joe Company donated the 20 acres of land and five million dollars.
Gulf County residents also said yes to the hospital by voting in favor of a half cent sales tax to go towards the project.
Sacred Heart officials are hoping to provide faster service to those who need it and hoping to save many lives along the way.
Another big day is March 15th. That's when the hospital will open its doors.
The $38-million dollar facility will employ 110 people initially.
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