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New West Florida Hospital ER Breaks Ground

Bob Barrett

Northwest Pensacola is getting a new emergency health care facility.

“It’s not just urgent care, this is an emergency department,” said Dr. Mark Stavros, the medical director of the West Florida Hospital Emergency Department. He was speaking before a crowd of a few dozen officials and hospital employees for the groundbreaking of the new West Florida Hospital Emergency Room. Located on West Nine Mile Road between Pine Forest Road and I-10, the facility will offer a wide range of services.

“We’re going to be able to give the full services of an emergency department, not just (someplace that treats) bumps and scrapes, we’re going to be able to treat all life-threatening injuries" said Stavros. "We also be able to take care of the bumps and scrapes as well. So the non-emergent problems we’ll be able to take care of but also the emergency things such as chest pain when you’re having a heart attack or stroke. Life-threatening illnesses and injuries we can take care of.”

“I hope there’s not the need for this facility to save my life one day, but if there is the need I hope it does save my life,” said Escambia County Commissioner Steven Barry, who stopped by to welcome West Florida Hospital to his district. “The investment in the building is one thing, but the investment in the 40 ongoing new positions is another which — shortly after opening — that expense will exceed the capital investment. Those new (paychecks) and the impact (they) have on those individuals that aren’t with West Florida Hospital right now. So we certainly appreciate that and welcome West Florida Hospital to District Five.”

Once the building is done the new ER will have 11 private-care beds, a dedicated trauma room, full scanning and diagnostic services and a clinical pharmacy. There will also be separate adult and pediatric areas. This will be the second free-standing Emergency Room for West Florida Hospital in the area. They opened their stand-alone facility in Perdido Key in September 2018. 

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.