PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — HCA Florida Gulf Coast Hospital cut the ribbon Wednesday on a new comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation center.

The $20 million, 22,000 square foot addition is for patients facing 3 or more hours of therapy a day.

It has its own gymnasium and its own dining hall, 20 private patient rooms and will create 30 new jobs, including physicians, nurses, speech pathologists, and physical and occupational therapists.

“In Bay County, a lot of time we are finding that a lot of patients have to leave the community after they leave Bay County to go elsewhere for in-patient,” Medical Director of the Intensive Care Unit at HCA Florida Gulf Coast Hospital Doctor Jean-Edson Belcourt said. “We have either a matter of not having enough rehab beds in the facility or in the community. Now, with added extra beds, we get to keep those patients here in the community, and the family members, and the caregivers get to stay here with the patients and the community.”

The facility will open on January 30th, at which point patients who need intensive rehabilitation for various medical conditions will be moving in. 

Officials said the new facility is a reflection of their effort to provide the best possible care to bay county residents.