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Columbia County Observer

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Lake Shore Hospital Authority

Lake Shore Hosp Auth: Florida Gateway College Has a Plan for a Downtown Health Care Campus

Meeting tonight at 5:15 pm, see it on Zoom

Photo of health care worke with caption: Lake Shore Hospital Authority, a plan for the vacated hospital,, a downtown health care campus
Photo via FGC | Columbia County Observer graphic

More LSHA stories are here.

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Florida Gateway College (FGC) President Larry Barrett has a plan for the shuttered Shands at Lake Shore Hospital: turn it into a downtown campus for FGC’s health care programs; open Florida’s first health care charter school.

The Lake Shore Hospital Authority meets again tonight with an illegally constituted board. Since last October, it has seen its client base (now 60) and its funds diminish. You can read about the history of the LSHA here.

Tonight at 5:15 pm, the Governor’s Lake Shore Hospital Authority Board will be meeting to discuss future plans for the vacated hospital. A last-minute addition to the agenda will be a presentation by FGC President Barrett to move all nursing degrees, health information technology, and physical therapist assistant programs to downtown Lake City into the vacated Shands at Lake Shore Hospital.

Last week, President Barrett told the Governor’s FGC Board that this expansion could lead to new programs such as respiratory care therapy, radiography, and surgical technology programs.

He added, “The wing that currently houses the hospital cafeteria could be converted into a hospitality program with two classrooms and an adapted kitchen with a dining room for training.”

President Barrett saw partnering opportunities. He explained that the hospital's first floor, which includes the Emergency Room, could be a private-public partnership between the College and a health care provider.

Included in the plan would be the opening of the first in the state Health Care Charter School.

On Sunday, President Barrett told your reporter, “While only in the incubator stage, I’m excited about this plan. It would be a giant step for the College, the City, and the future of health care education in Florida.

The Governor’s Lake Shore Hospital Board convenes at 5:15 pm this evening.

The meeting is carried on Zoom.

Without a deep dive search into the Hospital Authority website, it is almost impossible to find the link to the meeting.

The Authority website is here: http://lakeshoreha.org/

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