Fishermen's Community Hospital, Baptist Health Foundation, Baptist Health South Florida

Baptist Health South Florida Announces Plans to Build New Fishermen’s Community Hospital

February 5, 2018

$40 million investment includes goal of $15 million in philanthropic support

Coral Gables, Fla. – February 5, 2018 – Baptist Health South Florida – the region’s largest not-for-profit healthcare organization – has announced plans to design and build an entirely new Fishermen’s Community Hospital in Marathon. Construction of the $40 million facility is anticipated to begin during the first half of 2019, with a goal of raising $15 million of that total through philanthropy.

“This plan reflects our vision for improving and investing in the health of our communities with an emphasis on compassion,” said Baptist Health South Florida President and CEO Brian E. Keeley. “We look forward to continuing to implement that vision as we construct a new, state-of-the-art facility to serve the Middle Keys community.”

Fishermen’s Community Hospital, which was initially built in 1959, joined the Baptist Health family in July 2017 as an all-purpose, critical access hospital offering a 24/7 emergency room, inpatient and outpatient surgery, diagnostic imaging, lab testing, and physical and occupational therapy. But the hospital has been closed since September 10, when Hurricane Irma devastated the surrounding community.

To ensure the Middle Keys community had access to care in the wake of the storm, Baptist Health opened a field hospital on the Fishermen’s Community Hospital grounds. Considering it a temporary solution to the community’s longer-term needs, Baptist Health confirmed it would make a $3 million investment to replace the field hospital with a custom-designed modular hospital in the same location, with expanded capabilities and staffing that will remain in place until the entirely new facility opens.

To support the major initiative, Baptist Health Foundation – the fundraising division of Baptist Health South Florida – will launch the “Our Community, Your Hospital” campaign to achieve the philanthropic goal for Fishermen’s.

“As a not-for-profit organization, we need philanthropic support to bring this ambitious project to fruition,” said Fishermen’s Community Hospital and Mariners Hospital CEO, Rick Freeburg. “Baptist Health has incurred substantial losses due to the closure of Fishermen’s and the maintenance of a costly 24/7 field hospital. We are committed to providing high-quality healthcare to the Middle Keys community and are pleased to make significant investments in order to do so, but we can’t do it alone.”

“Baptist Health and its physicians, staff and volunteers need community support to make this happen,” said Fishermen’s Community Hospital Board Chair, Jay Hershoff, Esq. “Through the generosity of the community and that of Baptist Health, the dedicated staff at Fishermen’s can continue to provide the high-quality, compassionate care that they have delivered for the last six decades.”

Individuals interested in making a difference through the “Our Community, Your Hospital” campaign are encouraged to contact Wendy Reilly Gentes,, 305-522-0411, or Kim E. Gregory,, 305-393-5720.

About Baptist Health South Florida
Baptist Health South Florida is the largest healthcare organization in the region, with ten hospitals (Baptist Hospital, Baptist Children’s Hospital, Bethesda Hospital East, Bethesda Hospital West, Doctors Hospital, Fishermen’s Community Hospital, Homestead Hospital, Mariners Hospital, South Miami Hospital and West Kendall Baptist Hospital), more than 40 physician practices, 50 outpatient and urgent care facilities, Baptist Health Medical Group, Baptist Health Quality Network and internationally renowned centers of excellence spanning across Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to our faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence, Baptist Health has approximately 18,500 employees and more than 3,000 affiliated physicians. Baptist Health South Florida has been recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America and by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. For more information, visit and connect with us on Facebook at and on Twitter and Instagram @BaptistHealthSF.

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