Hurricane Repair First
Improvements to George E. Weems Memorial Hospital (WMH) will begin this summer with the replacement of the entire roof due to damages sustained by Hurricane Michael. Additionally, several of the rooftop HVAC units and the manufactured building that houses the ambulance and crew in Apalachicola on the hospital campus will be replaced. The majority of the repairs will be funded through the County’s property insurance.
Construction Plan Update
For more than a decade, George E. Weems Memorial Hospital (WMH) has contemplated renovations and expansion to the existing facility located on Apalachicola’s Washington Square. Original plans drafted in 2016 called for a 22,000 square foot addition (including canopies) to the existing facility which would house a new Emergency Department, Diagnostic Suite, Entry/Lobby and 10 private patient rooms with private baths. Additionally, plans called for renovations to the 20,000 square foot existing facility to accommodate associated support/ancillary functions, cosmetic room finish improvements to public areas, maintenance/repair work plus associated costs for medical equipment and furnishings. Once a total scope of work is finalized and approved by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, the project should take between 18-24 months to complete.
Weems Memorial Hospital opened on June 21, 1959 in its current location. But it was not Apalachicola’s first hospital. According to longtime Apalachicola physician Dr. Photis Nichols, Apalachicola’s first hospital was actually a renovated Army barracks building at the airport with 13 beds, a small obstetrical wing and operative suite. The hospital served the needs of the community from the time of its opening in 1948 until the completion of the new hospital with 25 beds at the present site in 1959.
Ultrasound Now Available at Weems
The recent addition of Ultrasound Services to Weems hospital has proved popular with local residents who no longer have to travel for radiology-type services.
According to Radiology director Jeannie Sorrell, Weems has performed approximately 150 ultrasounds since the equipment was installed in February.
The types of ultrasound exams that Weems can perform include, but are not limited to Aorta, Abdominal, OB, Renal, Liver, Arterial, Venous, Scrotal, Breast and Pelvic. Weems’ certified sonographer Amanda Byrd performs the exams in the ER and is available to perform outpatient exams. Other radiology services available through Weems include CT and xray services.
You may schedule an appointment by calling the hospital at (850) 653-8853.
New Ambulance Coming Soon
Weems Memorial will receive a new ambulance this year thanks to a recent decision by the Franklin County Commission to purchase the vehicle. Delivery of the $213,000 vehicle is expected later this fall. The new ambulance is part of Weems’ 10-year replacement plan to rotate old vehicles out of use and replace with new equipment. The Weems fleet of four ambulances are currently stationed throughout the county in Eastpoint, Carrabelle area and Apalachicola.