January 26, 2022

Business Florida 2022 - The Regions

Northwest

Bay • Calhoun • Escambia • Franklin • Gadsen • Gulf • Holmes • Jackson • Jefferson • Leon • Liberty • Okaloosa • Santa Rosa • Wakulla • Walton • Washington

| 11/8/2021

Health Care

Easy access to quality health care is more important than ever these days, and in Florida’s Northwest, health care systems are growing in size and capability to better provide it.

Construction is underway on Baptist Health Care’s new $615-million hospital campus in Pensacola. The largest single investment in a life sciences facility in Northwest Florida history, the development will consist of three primary structures: a 602,000-sq.-ft. acute care hospital; a 178,000-sq.-ft. medical office building for outpatient services; and a 90-bed behavioral unit for adults and children/youth needing inpatient care.

Ascension Sacred Heart’s $85-million, 126-bed Studer Family Children’s Hospital in Pensacola continues to grow with a pediatric intensive care unit that includes an operating room designed specifically for pediatric surgeries, and the Bear Family Foundation Pediatric Oncology Center for Hope. Ascension’s Studer Family Children’s Hospital is the only dedicated children’s hospital in Northwest Florida.

Construction has begun on a $30-million health center in central Bay County. Developed by PanCare of Florida, the project is expected to serve several thousand uninsured Northwest Florida residents with conditions pertaining to gastroenterology, cardiology, radiology and ophthalmology. The medical complex will offer gynecology and mammography services, a pharmacy and a laboratory and will serve as a special needs shelter in emergencies.

Fort Walton Beach Medical Center in Okaloosa County has advanced cardiac care in Northwest Florida with the successful completion of two transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) patient procedures. TAVR surgery replaces a narrowed aortic valve that fails to open fully, a condition known as aortic valve stenosis which limits blood flow. Unlike past procedures which required open-heart surgery to repair an aortic valve, TAVR typically takes about two hours, and most patients can go home the next day. FWBMC is the first health care facility in the three-county central Gulf Coast region to offer the TAVR procedure.

 

Life & Leisure

Come Live Where Life’s a Beach
… and you’ll find three of the best on barrier islands at state parks in Florida’s Northwest. Moving along the panhandle from west to east, check out Henderson Beach State Park in Okaloosa County, No. 13 on Trip Advisor’s 2021 list of top U.S. beaches; Grayton Beach State Park in Walton County, 2020’s No. 1 choice by Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman (aka Dr. Beach); and St. George Island State Park, another Dr. Leatherman pick at No. 4 in 2021. All three boast crystal-clear water and sugary white sand by day, and by night, spectacular views of Jupiter, Saturn and, if you’re lucky, the International Space Station making its orbit around Earth.

So Much to See and Do
Venture a few miles inland and you’ll find dozens of small towns to explore, many of which boast tongue-twisting names like Miccosukee, Wacissa and Sopchoppy. Florida’s capital city — Tallahassee — is here too, along with Pensacola, known as “The City of Five Flags” for having changed ownership so many times over the years. Today, it’s a bustling city, home to the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron — better known as the Blue Angels — and museums devoted to art, history, industry and commerce. There’s plenty of natural beauty all across this interior region, too — winding rivers, pine forests, crystal clear springs and lots of caverns — most of which are underwater.

 

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