Florida Keys

This hospital hasn’t reopened since Hurricane Irma. And it may not for 2 years

Since Sept. 26, some services at Fishermen’s Community Hospital have been offered in tents (left) and mobile buildings. The actual hospital, in the rear, was severely damaged in the hurricane.
Since Sept. 26, some services at Fishermen’s Community Hospital have been offered in tents (left) and mobile buildings. The actual hospital, in the rear, was severely damaged in the hurricane. Keynoter

Fishermen’s Community Hospital officials have been quiet about when the Marathon medical center will reopen, but Chief Executive Rick Freeburg said last week that it will need to be rebuilt.

The Middle Keys hospital’s building, recently bought by Baptist Health South Florida, remains closed after sustaining major damage to the roof during Hurricane Irma Sept. 10. A temporary tent hospital has been in the parking lot at mile marker 48.5 oceanside since Sept. 26.

“We know that we will need to move the current temporary hospital in order to allow us to remodel or rebuild Fishermen’s, however, the timing of this has not been defined,” Baptist spokeswoman Dori Alvarez told the Keynoter.

The main facility will be rebuilt, Freeburg said at the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce luncheon, and the rebuilding process could take two years. Alvarez did not say where or when the tent hospital will be moved and did not comment on the two-year process.

Services available at the tent hospital include X-ray imaging and care for heart attacks and strokes. It is staffed with emergency room physicians, nurse practitioners, and radiology and lab technicians.

Patients with more serious conditions are taken to Mariners Hospital in Tavernier, also a Baptist hospital; Lower Keys Medical Center in Key West; or Miami-area hospitals.

Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219

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