CEO: Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center seeing more patients, hires since hurricane

By  | 

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Hurricane Michael did more than just bump and bruise the Panhandle.

Brad Griffin, the CEO of Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center said the hospital "has been extremely busy since the hurricane."

Now, as the only fully open hospital in Panama City, Gulf Coast is handling more patients.

"We are being very creative with our space. We have a lot of departments that are sharing," Griffin said.

He told us the hospital fully reopened in January.

"January 7th was the last nursing unit that was damaged by the hurricane that we were able to open," Griffin said.

The hospital did keep its emergency room open after the storm.

He said, "While we were able to keep the emergency room open, we were transferring a large number of patients out of town."

Since then, the only patients who've had to be transferred required a higher level of care. As the hospital is seeing more patients, that's also opened doors for job seekers.

"Since the hurricane, we've hired over 100 new team members to join us at Gulf Coast," Griffin explained.

The hospital is also considering upgrades for the building itself.

"We have some short-term thoughts on renovations we can accomplish to create space for treating patients, but we also are working on some longer-term expansion projects as well," Griffin said.

Until those renovations are made and other hospitals get completely up and running, Griffin said they're here.

He said, "We're happy to fill that void and be here for the community and take care of everybody that comes to us."