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$18M urgent care centre on Marco Island a ‘dream come true’ for residents

Grant Cameron
$18M urgent care centre on Marco Island a ‘dream come true’ for residents

The first phase of a new, state-of-the-art urgent care centre on Marco Island just south of Naples, Fla. has officially kicked off.

The $18-million project is being done in several phases and is expected to take just over a year to complete.

“Our projected timeline has us seeing first patients by mid-2025, so that’s 12 to 15 months from now,” says Dianna Dohm, chair of the Marco Healthcare Center (MHC) board of directors. “That is phenomenal.”

An existing urgent care centre at the site will remain open during construction. It will be slated for demolition once the new structure is built.

“Let me be perfectly clear about this, the urgent care will remain open,” says Dohm. “Our current version of care will remain open during the entire construction.”

The new centre will sit on the southeast corner of the existing urgent care centre’s campus at San Marco Road and Heathwood Drive.

A groundbreaking was held at the site recently and was attended by hospital board members and administrative personnel, dignitaries, members of the community and local politicians, including Marco Island city council chair Jared Grifoni.

The new structure, to be named the Marco Urgent Care Center, will provide more accessible and efficient health care services to the residents of Marco Island and surrounding communities in a convenient setting. There will be a wide range of urgent medical services, including diagnostics, treatments and preventive care for patients.

The building itself will be comprised of two floors, totalling 24,000 square feet of space.

“That’s a lot of space for us,” remarks Dohm.

The construction work is being done in three phases.

The first phase will see construction of the new facility. The first floor of the building will encompass the urgent care centre with 12 private exam rooms, one private triage/patient intake room, all new equipment, including CT and X-ray, and a covered ambulance entrance. The second floor will house physicians’ services.

In the second phase of the project, the existing urgent care services will be moved to the new facility and the old building will be demolished.

The final phase will be marked by renovation of a two-storey physician and outpatient rehabilitation building.

Dohm says the new building is needed because the current 40-year-old urgent care centre is too small and in need of repair. Marco Island and surrounding communities are almost a half an hour drive from Naples, so the urgent care centre is a vital necessity for local residents.

“Primary care and urgent medicine is already awkward at the Marco Urgent Care Campus along with cardiology,” says Dohm. “This will continue and hopefully expand into orthopaedics, paediatrics and other specialty services.”

She says it is an exciting project that has been years in planning.

“Building something tangible from an idea is always a fulfilling journey,” Dohm notes. “It took a lot of work, planning, collaboration and kindness of two wonderful families.”

Indeed, two Marco Island families – the Slaggies and the Kaufmans – have come forward with substantial financial donations to make the hospital possible. Barb and Steve Slaggie are donating $5 million while Pat and Scott Kaufman are kicking in $4 million for the work. Both couples live in the area.

The two families have been “incredibly supportive” and “generous” in making sure the facility has the services for local residents, says Dohm.

Pat Kaufman, who has served on the Marco Urgent Care Center board for more than 10 years, notes any size donation to the fundraising cause for the centre is a worthwhile endeavour.

“Personally, this is a dream come true. I have advocated for better health care on this island for close to 10 years. You’ll always get the greatest return when you invest in your health.”

Steve Slaggie says the donation is “a great way to leave Marco a better place” and there is no need to wait to make that sort of impact.

Paul Hiltz, CEO of Naples Comprehensive Health, which is an alliance of doctors and medical facilities in dozens of locations throughout Southwest Florida, says the health system is “thrilled” to bring the essential health care facility to fruition for the residents of Marco Island and beyond.

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