Fishermen's Community Hospital

Fishermen’s Community Hospital raises final beam nearly three years since Hurricane Irma

June 10, 2020

Fishermen's Community Hospital final beam ceremony

Marathon, FL – June 10, 2020 – Today, Fishermen’s Community Hospital raised the final beam marking a new phase of construction, nearly three years since Hurricane Irma destroyed the hospital. This huge milestone, often referred to as “topping off,” finalized the completion of the structure of the building.

“Seeing the final beam of the new hospital go up is a significant indication of this community’s success and is a monumental occasion,” said Rick Freeburg, CEO of Fishermen’s Community Hospital. “It is going to be an extraordinary new hospital, thanks to so many who have supported this effort.”

“We are thrilled to see the final beam placed as we build an entirely new Fishermen’s Community Hospital,” said Alex Villoch, Baptist Health Foundation Chief Executive Officer. “This one is particularly special as our generous donors signed their names to commemorate this accomplishment. We are extremely grateful for the incredible vision of the community and the leadership of our volunteers  – none of this would be possible without them.”

Expected to be completed in the fall of 2021, the new Fishermen’s Community Hospital will be designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. The ground on which the hospital sits has also been raised to an elevation of more than 11 feet, which exceeds the building code requirements. The tilt-up walls of the structure are reinforced concrete and the roof will also be concrete. In the event of a loss of power, the building will be outfitted with dual emergency generators.

With hurricane season upon us and construction well underway, Baptist Health and Robins & Morton construction group are acutely aware of the hazards that hurricanes pose to the construction site and community.  Hospital officials and the construction management team have enacted an extensive hurricane action plan in the event of a storm. This plan ensures the safety of those working on the site as well as those residing in the area.

“Safety is at the core of everything we do at the hospital. There is nothing more important,” added Freeburg. “We maintain a strong partnership with local NOAA officials who provide us with the most accurate and up-to-date storm information, allowing our team to make critical operational decisions.”

The current modular facility, which was constructed after Hurricane Irma destroyed the original hospital, will continue to provide a broad range of healthcare services to the Middle Keys until the new hospital is completed.

About Fishermen’s Community Hospital
Fishermen’s Community Hospital is part of Baptist Health South Florida, the largest healthcare organization in the region, with 11 hospitals, more than 23,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 100 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Baptist Health has internationally renowned centers of excellence in cancer, cardiovascular care, orthopedics and sports medicine, and neurosciences. In addition, it includes Baptist Health Medical Group; Baptist Health Quality Network; and Baptist Health Care On Demand, a virtual health platform. A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to its faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence, Baptist Health 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 FacebookInstagramTwitter and LinkedIn.

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