(BLOUNTSTOWN, FLORIDA, March 24, 2023) – The sound of progress could be heard throughout Calhoun County this past week as construction crews work on site clearing activities at the 14-acre future site of the new Calhoun-Liberty Hospital.
“This has been over four years in the making and we are so excited to see work start on the site of the new hospital” said Mark Plummer, Chairman of the Calhoun-Liberty Hospital Association Board of Directors. “Our new hospital will allow us to better serve our residents of this four-county area”.
Extensive damage from Hurricane Michael in 2018 left the hospital operating at just 40% of its pre-hurricane capacity. However, since landfall federal and state agencies including the state legislature, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Florida Division of Emergency Management, Florida Department of Health, FEMA and the U.S Housing and Urban Development have all committed to collectively providing $31,140,000.00 million in reimbursable grant funding needed to build the new hospital.
The collective timing of the grants combined with a nationwide supply and labor shortage creates a unique challenge requiring a unique solution. That solution, which includes a phased construction approach, prioritizes the community’s current healthcare needs while simultaneously integrating smart growth functionality which will allow Calhoun-Liberty Hospital to meet future demands of the growing community.
The first phase of construction will include a state-of-the-art emergency room, eight private in-patient rooms, 3 flexible clinical decision rooms, rehabilitative services to include physical and occupational therapy along with cardio and pulmonary rehabilitation services.
Chris Jepsen, Chief Executive Officer of Calhoun-Liberty Hospital said, “There has been a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes to get us to where we are today. We are so appreciative of the support we’ve received from the community along with our local, state, and federal partners to restore quality healthcare to the panhandle.”
The hospital is currently finalizing all required federal and state compliance documents, and plans to advertise, select, and start construction in late summer of 2023. Construction is anticipated to wrap up in early 2025.