New surgery center in Fernandina Beach has ribbon-cutting ceremony

Nassau County residents will no longer have to travel for surgeries

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. – Starting next month, Nassau County residents will no longer have to leave the area for surgical operations. Baptist Medical Center Nassau has expanded the county's only hospital with a new High-Tech Surgery and Procedural Center. 

The 30,000-square-foot center opened Thursday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. 

The center provides residents with the most advanced medical equipment in an ultramodern facility. The hospital invested $22.5 million to build it. 

"As the community has grown, we want to grow with it," Baptist Nassau President Edward Hubel said. "(There’s) nothing worse than when you need a procedure done or need surgery -- the uncertainty and high anxiety that's there."

Among many features, the new center includes: 

  • Four “smart” operating suites with ceiling-mounted equipment that gives the medical team fingertip control. Each suite is 580 feet, allowing ample space for the surgical team, nearly 200 square feet larger than the previous surgical rooms. The advanced technology features an in-light HD surgical camera that provides an alternative overhead view of the patient’s surgical area, enabling the medical team to share live images with other specialists for consultation. 
  • Twenty large private patient rooms where patients can visit with family and friends in a spacious, quiet environment before and after surgery.
  • Two endoscopy suites and a suite for minor procedures. 
  • A centralized high-tech sterilization center for all surgical instruments to enhance patient safety. 

"We start here with manual cleaning. This is a sink that can raise and lower to make it comfortable for the worker,” Hubel said while describing how the new technology is utilized. “We then take our instruments to the sonic irrigator that will loosen articles that we can't visually see, then they go to the automatic washers that will remove the remainder of any bio-burden that could be present."

Nurses and doctors are already moving in. The surgery center will start taking patients the first week of January.

“Every aspect of the Surgery and Procedural Center is designed to provide a better experience for patients, family members and physicians,” Hubel said. “Safety and comfort were the driving factors at every stage of design.”