Sacred Heart Health System

Sacred Heart Hospital

Officials at Sacred Heart Health System are in the midst of observing their past, while also looking to the future. On Monday, they announced plans for a major expansion of pediatric health care in the region to include construction of a new children’s hospital.

Photo via Flickr// Jessica Whittle Photography & Sacred Heart Health Systems /

Sacred Heart Health System marked a century of service earlier this month. On Sunday, its 100th birthday party was thrown at Bayfront Stadium.

The home of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos was transformed into a party venue, with jump houses, air slides a bungee trampoline and other attractions for the kids, and reduced price food and drink for all.

Among those enjoying the late summer sunshine was Karen Porter, a 37-year associate at Sacred Heart. She talked about seeing the technological evolution in healthcare.

Baptist Medical Group

Two non-profit hospitals in Pensacola will be major beneficiaries in the Florida Legislature’s plan to fill a $1.2 billion hole in the federal Low Income Pool program.

The $400 million in state money taking up part of the slack is aimed at attracting other federal funds for two purposes: to offset the federal LIP decrease, and raise Medicaid payments for all hospitals in the state.

Uncle Sam is offering a one billion dollar compromise to Florida, regarding the Low Income Pool – which is provided to hospitals to help pay for uninsured and under-insured patients and is scheduled to expire on June 30 if not renewed.

State Senator Don Gaetz made the announcement on Thursday, adding that there are a number of conditions. One is that the LIP money must follow the patient. That’s a catch he says the state has known about for some time.

Gov. Rick Scott's newly created Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding met for the first time on Wednesday. But hospitals have met his request for information by essentially telling him to look it up himself. That includes at least one Pensacola-area facility.

Many of the dozens of surveys returned by hospitals have five or fewer of the roughly 100 lines filled out with new information. Many referred Scott to data already on file with the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.

Sacred Heart Health Systems

  Sacred Heart Health System is teaming up with a pair of Escambia County elementary schools, to promote healthy behavior and lifestyle habits.

Using a $50,000 grant from Sacred Heart’s parent firm Ascension Health, the “Healthy Schools” program involves Holm and O.J. Semmes. Director Janice Hall says the two schools were picked according to student need, school ranking and prior relationships with the hospital.

Linda Dunwoody

Sacred Heart Health System Friday unveiled new, state-of-the-art vehicles for the hospital-to-hospital transport of newborns through age 18, to and from Children’s Hospital in Pensacola.

“That’s what this is all about,” said Sacred Heart Hospital President Henry Stovall. “It’s about children who are in crisis, families who are in an emergency. And they look to the Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart for help. Sometimes, desperate help.”

In light of reports of the handful of Ebola cases elsewhere in the US, healthcare workers in Florida and Pensacola are making their own preparations just in case. However, there have been no Ebola cases here, or in the rest of Florida.

Suspected Ebola cases reported in Miami and Jacksonville this week turned out to be something else. Governor Rick Scott last week asked hospitals across Florida – large and small -- to require that their healthcare professionals undergo safety training to guard against Ebola measure.

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF News

Sacred Heart Health System dedicated its new Bayou Tower facility on the main campus in Pensacola on Friday. WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody reports the major expansion adds five stories to its Heart and Vascular facility.

The $52 million project – dubbed Bayou Tower – adds another 112 beds to Sacred Heart’s main hospital. The cost was paid from reserves and private donations, with no added debt. In 2012, Interim CEO Susan Davis said the addition would create what she called “the patient experience of the future.”

Plans have been unveiled for more growth at Sacred Heart Health Center’s Emerald Coast facility in Miramar Beach.

The $30 million expansion project is aimed at increasing capacity in four service areas: inpatient, maternity, emergency, and pediatric.

Hospital President Roger Hall says they’re looking to expand in-patient capacity by about two dozen beds, covering 20,000 square feet. That also includes beds for their youngest and smallest patients.