From left, Alex Villoch, Baptist Health Foundation CEO; Peter Chapman, Baptist Health Fishermen’s Community Hospital Board of Directors chair; Jay Hershoff, Baptist Health Board of Trustees chair; Drew Grossman, Baptist Health Fishermen’s Community Hospital and Mariners Hospital CEO; Jane Packard, Baptist Health Foundation Council chair; Glenn Waters, Baptist Health Chief Operating Officer; Joe Natoli, Baptist Health Chief Administrative Officer.
Baptist Health South Florida broke ground Wednesday, Feb. 1, on a new medical arts facility in Marathon, adjacent to Baptist’s Fishermen’s Community Hospital.
The property formerly housed Monroe County’s Marathon library branch, but BHSF brokered a property trade with the library system three years ago to acquire the parcel in exchange for the site of the new library, at 3490 Overseas Highway.
The $11.5 million project is expected to be completed in 2024 and will expand Fishermen’s to an all-inclusive medical campus, where primary care physicians and specialists, including physical therapists currently operating in Gulfside Village, will be housed together.
The new medical arts facility at Fishermen’s will span 10,000 square feet, offering specialty services in orthopedics, hand surgery, general surgery, gastroenterology physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and other rehabilitation services. In addition, infusion therapy, provided in collaboration with Miami Cancer Institute, along with multiple treatment rooms for patients, will be included.
Drew Grossman, CEO of Fishermen’s Community Hospital and Mariners Hospital, who led the groundbreaking ceremony, said he is most proud of the hospital’s expanded infusion therapy center, which most will recognize as chemotherapy.
“This is another milestone step for the Middle Keys,” Grossman said. “We’re really trying to expand our services by getting more specialists into the Keys, which will also help us recruit even more specialists. Our infusion center is very important, having it here in the Middle Keys. Anyone seeking healthcare in the Middle Keys can rest assured more services will be in your own back yard.”
He explained that the infusion center would have three separate entrances, so patients, especially those receiving chemotherapy, don’t mix, a measure aimed at protecting those whose immune systems are suppressed during treatments.
He went on to say that “people want to feel comfortable and not have to travel great distances to receive care, which is extreme wear and tear on both the health of the patient and their caregivers.”
The ceremony kicked off with an invocation by Maria Anderson, pastoral care doctor for Fishermen’s, Mariners and Homestead hospitals, asking for blessings for the workers and the caregivers who will serve the new facility. Glenn Waters, executive vice president and chief operating officer for BHSF, reiterated this was “another step forward for Baptist” and this undertaking was “an extension of our commitment to healthcare in the Keys.”
Attorney Jay Hershoff, chairman of Fishermen’s board, recalled the time and effort that’s been involved both in the rebuilding of the hospital after Hurricane Irma and now this new facility. Several of the speakers also praised the tireless efforts of Marathon philanthropist Jane Packard.
Fishermen’s has been caring for the Keys community since first opening in 1962. The hospital was shut down in September 2017 when Hurricane Irma caused extensive damage to much of the property. A field hospital was quickly opened to provide uninterrupted care to the community shortly thereafter, until the field hospital was replaced with a modular facility. The new hospital opened in 2021.