Open House at Gulf Coast Medical Center Expansion - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Open House at Gulf Coast Medical Center Expansion

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Gulf Coast Medical Center unveiled its new critical care wing, Saturday, this with open house tours.

The hospital staff says the facility will allow more patients who are in need of critical care to be treated locally.

After more than a year of construction Gulf Coast Medical Center staff is ready to start caring for more patients.

"It's an opportunity for us to provide a high level of service with top notch doctors and nurses so you can stay in your community, because that's what it's really about and our organization is committed to making that happen," said Mindy Young, Director of Children's Services at GCMC.

"Critical care is such a team approach from the nurses to the primary doctors, to the specialists you pull in… It's really going to help coordinate patient care," said Dr. James Tackett, Chief of Medicine.

The new wing includes a total of 42 private rooms and it includes enough space to accommodate family. 

"Sometimes patients in the ICU are in here for quite some time and it's a real inconvenience for families to have to go somewhere else," said Paula Bowers, Director of Critical Care.

"Currently, when children become critically ill they have to be transported sometime 3 and 4 hours away," said Allison Haligas, Registered Nurse.  "So, we are very excited to be able to treat them right here in Bay County where we can keep them close to home and family."

There are 20 adult rooms, 18 neonatal rooms, and 4 pediatric rooms all with brand new equipment.

"We have all brand new state of the art equipment specifically designed for the pediatric patient," said Haligas. "Everything has been chosen for the pediatric population so that we can provide the critical care monitoring and treatment that they need."

The same is true in the adult and neonatal rooms. They were designed with comfort and healing in-mind.

"You'll see the decor is very subdued. It's a healing environment. We wanted the families to believe that they are in a safe quiet healing environment... So the tones represent that," said Young.

"This gives us the opportunity to embrace both the patients and the families when they are facing both life and death situations," said Bowers.

With this addition, the neonatal ICU or NICU will become the only level 3 unit in the region.

That means Gulf Coast Medical Center will be able to care for even the smallest of premature babies.

The new wing officially opens on October 15th.