Destin ER breaks ground
A new emergency room in Destin affiliated with the Fort Walton Beach Medical Center broke ground in Destin Thursday morning.
The full service ER will be located at the corner of U.S. Highway 98 and Tequesta Drive, next to the Emerald Lakes subdivision, and is scheduled to be completed by February 2017. Once completed, the new Destin ER facility will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and offer eight emergency exam rooms, CT and X-ray machines and an on-site laboratory.
“The Destin ER will also partner with Okaloosa County EMS and Okaloosa Med Flight,” said Dr. Gary Wright, director of emergency services at FWBMC.
Additionally, hospital officials said doctors and staff from the FWBMC emergency room will rotate in to perform shifts at the Destin ER.
“Our main focus here is having the highest level of services available,” said Dr. Eric Schuck, president of medical staff at FWBMC and medical director of pediatric ER. “We’ll have the most advanced CT center and 24-hour rapid ultrasound. These technologies will allow us to provide the most advanced medical services in the region.”
Chamber of Commerce officials from Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Walton County, as well as state Rep. Matt Gaetz and District 4 candidate Mel Ponder were on hand for the groundbreaking.
“I believe we should honor things that are important to families and their welfare,” Ponder said. “I wanted to be here to support (the Medical Center’s) expansion that adds value to our community.”
The 9,300-square-foot free-standing emergency room facility in Destin was announced in January of this year. The Medical Center staff have been working on the Destin ER project for about two years and closed on the 1.2 acres at the northwest corner of the intersection of U.S. 98 and Tequesta Drive on Dec. 21 of last year.