PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — After being devastated by Hurricane Michael the Specialty Hospital at Bay Medical Center is finally reopening its doors.
“We thought that we’d be able to rebuild the hospital rather quickly, but what they found as they were able to look into the walls, and the damage they suffered they had to completely rebuild the space,” said Tom Mullin, COO Specialty Hospitals at Select Medical.
Specialty Hospital focuses on long term patients. The new renovations include new patient care rooms, the latest technology and eight new ventilators. It is also equipped with thirty beds for extreme care patients.
And as the staff celebrates the overcoming of one storm, they find themselves running into another, the COVID-19 Pandemic. Mullin said the hospital is ready for the cases they may face.
“I think we’ll be able to serve those patients well. We will also be able to help the short-term care facilities in the community and free up I-C-U beds by transitioning those patients here,” he said.
Panama City City Manager Mark McQueen said that while the updated hospital is a milestone of recovery, it comes at a time when the city may need it most.
“It adds more capability to our hospital capacity here in Panama City, and what they do in terms of progressive care –taking somebody from I-C-U and transitioning them into a full recovery, getting them back home is essential,” he said.
The hospital is expecting to take new patients this week.