Baptist Health Care
Baptist Health Care (BHC) is a community-owned, not-for-profit regional system serving northwest Florida and southern Alabama. Nationally recognized for performance excellence and quality achievement, BHC has consistently ranked in the 99th percentile for patient satisfaction as recognized by Press Ganey. Baptist Health Care includes four hospitals (Atmore Hospital, Baptist Hospital, Gulf Breeze Hospital, and Jay Hospital), two medical parks (Baptist Medical Park - Navarre and Baptist Medical Park - Nine Mile), Baptist Manor, Baptist Home Health Care and Durable Medical Equipment, Baptist Leadership Institute, Andrews Institute for Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine and Lakeview Center. With more than 5,500 employees, Baptist Health Care is the largest non-governmental employer in northwest Florida.
BHC operates with a mission established by its founding fathers "to provide superior service based on Christian values to improve the quality of life for people and communities served.” The current president and CEO of Baptist Health Care is Al Stubblefield.
Baptist was chartered as the Pensacola Baptist Hospital Association on February 15, 1943, following the efforts of Dr. Sid Kennedy and a group of First Baptist Church deacons to create a modern hospital in Pensacola.
For years, Baptist Health Care has sought to expand its service away from its main Baptist Hospital campus, which is located near Pensacola's urban core and provides indigent care for a large number of low-income patients. The hospital averages about 50 percent occupancy at any given time, and Baptist has sought to transfer some of its allowed acute medical care beds from Baptist Hospital to other branches in more affluent neighborhoods. However, such a transfer is only allowed after following the state's Certificate of Need process, overseen by the Agency for Health Care Administration, which has repeatedly denied requests by Baptist Health Care. Baptist officials have argued that the process is anticompetitive and overly regulatory, and that the ability to serve more "paying customers" would offset losses and increase their financial capacity to provide charity care.
On four occasions, Baptist has lobbied to receive special legislative exemption from the Certificate of Need process. For many years they had an ally in Jerry Maygarden, a top Baptist executive and Republican majority leader of the State House of Representatives, but efforts to transfer about 100 beds to a new hospital near their Nine Mile Road medical park were never successful.
On June 26, 2008, two years after holding brief talks about collaborating with West Florida Healthcare, Baptist Health Care announced an expansion project that included acquiring West Florida Hospital for $245 million, plus $85 million in new construction. The project was set to move forward, but after a major credit crisis made it difficult to obtain the necessary financing, the plans were called off at the beginning of 2009 — with an estimated $8 million lost in forfeited earnest money.
- www.ebaptisthealthcare.org – Official site
- "Life Sciences: A snapshot of Pensacola's three local hospitals." Pensacola Business Journal, December 22, 2006.