JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - When the Campbellton-Graceville Hospital closed in June, hospital officials turned to Northwest Florida Community Hospital in Chipley for help.
"We presented a proposal on how we could continue to provide healthcare services in the community," Northwest Florida Community Hospital CEO Michael Kozar said. "We also sent our
HR representatives there to work with the staff that would want to transition to our facility."
Kozar and his team recently leased the old Campbellton-Graceville Hospital building and the clinic located nearby.
Since Septemer 25th, the clinic has been providing primary care four days a week, with Dr. John Byrd at the helm.
A nurse practitioner will start on Monday, October 16th.
Byrd said the community's response to the clinic has been positive so far. He said the people seem like they're happy to see Chipley having a presence in the Graceville area.
As for the main hospital building, Kozar said he plans to possibly repurpose the hospital for psychiatric services.
"Acute care hospitals right now have a real difficulty in finding placement for mental health-related patients and we really feel this could be a benefit to the whole Panhandle," Kozar said.
This renovation could inlcude an Alzheimer's unit or a place for Baker Act patients to be treated.
As services expand, Kozar said these plans for the hospital could bring close to 100 jobs to the area.
Kozar said they're currently looking at plans to possibly lobby state legislators and have the law changed to allow Northwest Florida Community Hospital to own the Campbellton-Graceville Hospital and clinic.