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Columbia County Observer

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HCA's Lake City Hospital Celebrates $36 mil Expanded Emergency Room – Part of Planned $141 mil Expansion

HCA Lake City Florida Emergency Room expansion with headline: HCA's New 36 mil ER Expansion Welcomed With Blue Skies in Lake City

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – HCA's (Hospital Corporation of America) Lake City Hospital, the old LCMC, invested $36 mil in expanding its emergency room. The addition adds 18 new private emergency room beds.

Scores of the whose-who of Lake City-Columbia County attended the grand opening ceremony.

HCA Lake City FL- the whose-who of attendees
Click to enlarge to see who you recognize. (HCA photo)

Lake City Hospital’s CEO Jill Adams said, “We are growing with the community, and this expansion provides us the opportunity to continue to provide care closer to home.” (HCA press release).

Lake City Hospital is a 113-bed acute care hospital serving the communities of Columbia, Hamilton, and Suwannee counties. HCA Lake City Hospital is part of HCA Florida Healthcare, offering medical and surgical programs, including critical care, heart care, interventional cardiology, orthopedics, cancer care, and imaging services. HCA Lake City Hospital is an accredited primary stroke center and an accredited chest pain center.

Lindsay Covington, Lake City Hospital's Director of Communication and Community Engagement, told your reporter before the grand opening crowd arrived, "The addition will help increase patient privacy and enhance efficiency.”

Emergency Room ready for OB patient
One of the ER rooms is set up to accomodate OB patients.

 Your reporter asked Ms. Covington if HCA was planning the addition of an OB expansion in Lake City. Ms. Covington smiled, but there wasn't a revelation at hand.

ER Director Brian Sellers, RN, at one of the two IT stations in the ER.
ER Director Brian Sellers, RN, at one of the two IT stations in the ER.

Brian Sellers, RN, the hospital’s emergency room director, told your reporter that the added emergency room space, which effectively doubles the emergency room footprint, will relieve some of the stress of the sometimes crowded conditions.

HCA Healthcare’s 2022 revenue was $60.23 billion. HCA’s profit was $6.956 billion in 2021 and $5.643 billion in 2022.

Along with the newly expanded emergency department, Lake City Hospital announced an $88 million investment in a new two-story patient tower in November. The 58,543 square feet tower addition will double the footprint of surgical services from 11,995 square feet to 21,815 square feet, as well as expand the cath lab.

Since 2020, HCA dedicated $141 million in what everyone knows as the Lake City Medical Center.

Epilogue: HCA has a diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy

HCA's data-driven corporate policy supports the accelerating advancement of women and people of color in leadership roles.

HCA corporate says, "We are proud that people of color currently comprise nearly 41% of our workforce and women comprise nearly 80%."

HCA is conscious of unconscious bias. "All of our education and training resources are designed with a framework and focus around building an inclusive organization for our colleagues and compassionate, culturally competent healthcare environment for our patients," HCA statement.

All HCA employees receive conscious inclusion training as part of their required annual code of conduct training.

Unlike Columbia County and Lake City, the home of Lake City Hospital, HCA does not look to give favored employees and the well-connected free passes by changing its rules to hire the unqualified.

HCA's Lindsey Covington: Profile
The importance of education and experience.

Lindsey CovingtonThe importance of experience and education is exemplified by Lake City Hospital's Director of Communications and Community Engagement, Lindsey Covington.

Ms. Covington, without who this article would not have been possible, began her post-secondary education at North Florida Community College, where she earned her A.A. degree in 2014.

From there, Ms. Covington went on to UF, earning a B.S. in advertising in 2016, and then was hired by Murray State University (the University of Kentucky) as its marketing coordinator. (Columbia County Observer photo)

While at Murray State U, she earned her Masters in Mass Communications/Media Studies, and then went on to the Suwannee River Water Management for three years before going to HCA in 2021.

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