The city of Gulf Shores will soon have a new, Freestanding Emergency Department as part of an agreement with Foley Hospital Corporation and South Baldwin Regional Medical Center. Right now, those in need of emergency medical treatment must often travel to Pensacola, Foley or Mobile for care.
The Freestanding Emergency Department is another step in the city’s 2025 Strategic Plan to improve healthcare opportunities for residents. City officials said they’ve been trying to come up with a good solution for emergency services for several years and the signing of this lease agreement is the result of those efforts.
“This isn’t a trauma-1 center similar to Mobile of Pensacola, but this would be where somebody with an emergency situation could be transported to, have emergency care and if needed to be, go and flown or brought to a trauma-one center at some point,” explained Grant Brown with the city of Gulf Shores.
The 24-hour Emergency Department will be built on 11 acres of city owned land. The property is sandwiched between the western border of the airport and Highway 59. The facility will provide eight exam rooms, a helipad, triage, imaging and lab services and an on-site pharmacy. The total cost of the project is $15.2 million dollars to be paid by Foley Hospital Corporation. The city said the need is great and only growing.
“If you think of people coming from Ono Island and the Flora-Bama area and the end of Fort Morgan and the traffic situation on Highway 59 and trying to maneuver all the way up to South Baldwin as their first emergency access, that’s just too far,” Brown said.
City officials said they’ve been trying to come up with a good solution for emergency services for several years and the signing of this lease agreement is the result of those efforts. Residents think it will fill a big void.
“I think it’s a wonderful idea,” said Gail Sherman. “I think we always need medical services for in-towners, out-of-towners.”
“I think it’s a good idea, especially for the snow-birders who could possibly need care at different times, you know and myself,” agreed Paul Greiner.
The next step is for the state to sign off on the project. There will be a Certificate of Need hearing in November of 2019. Construction is set to begin in the fall of 2020 with the doors set to open in the fall of 2021.