Jacksonville hospital leaders update on COVID-19 response

Mar 27, 2020

Joint statement from our CEOs

The health and safety of our patients and our community remains our top priority.

We understand there may be concerns related to future demand for acute care, and our region’s ability to meet these needs. While we have hospital bed capacity today, we are looking ahead, working around the clock to ensure we are ready to manage a potential surge in patient needs. Keep in mind that only a portion of those hospitalized will require intensive care.

Possible acuity of patients is just one of the many variables we are looking at, using predictive analytics to project various possible “surge” scenarios. Across our region, we currently have nearly 500 ICU beds in place today – but that doesn’t tell the whole story. We are diligently working to expand that number, when we need it.

Ensuring readiness for a rapid influx of patients is something we all do throughout the year. This planning involves having the right combination of people, equipment and processes at the ready, and beds are only one part of the equation. We are collaborating by establishing a Virtual Community Command Center to open, if necessary, along with local, state and national officials to ensure we have the necessary resources to meet the needs of our community throughout all stages of this pandemic.

The best strategy of all is prevention. We need the community’s help to remain healthy so people don’t become infected in the first place. Everyone should remember to practice social distancing by maintaining at least six feet between themselves and others, a simple act that will help reduce community spread. All of us can help to flatten the curve, which will reduce the number of overall cases and significantly reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the health care systems. Everyone in our community plays a critical role in keeping our community safe from this virus.


In Florida, Ascension operates Ascension St. Vincent’s based in Jacksonville and Ascension Sacred Heart based in Pensacola. Together, Ascension Florida operates seven hospitals and more than 100 sites of care and employs more than 10,000 associates. Across the region, Ascension St. Vincent’s and Ascension Sacred Heart have served North Florida communities for more than 145 years. In fiscal year 2019, they provided nearly $180 million in community benefit and care of persons living in poverty. Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is one of the leading non-profit and Catholic health systems in the U.S., operating 2,600 sites of care – including 150 hospitals and more than 50 senior living facilities – in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Visit www.ascension.org.


Baptist Health is a faith-based, mission-driven system in Northeast Florida comprised of Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville; Baptist Medical Center Beaches; Baptist Medical Center Nassau; Baptist Medical Center South; Baptist Clay Medical Campus and Wolfson Children’s Hospital – the region’s only children’s hospital. All Baptist Health hospitals, along with Baptist Home Health Care, have achieved Magnet™ status for excellence in patient care. Baptist Health is part of Coastal Community Health, a highly integrated regional hospital network focused on significant initiatives designed to enhance the quality and value of care provided to our contiguous communities. Baptist Health has the area’s only dedicated heart hospital; orthopedic institute; women’s services; neurological institute, including comprehensive neurosurgical services, a comprehensive stroke center and two primary stroke centers; a Bariatric Center of Excellence; a full range of psychology and psychiatry services; urgent care services; and primary and specialty care physicians’ offices throughout Northeast Florida. The Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center is a regional destination for multidisciplinary cancer care which is clinically integrated with the MD Anderson Cancer Center, the internationally renowned cancer treatment and research institution in Houston. For more details, visit baptistjax.com.


For 50 years, Brooks Rehabilitation, headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., has been a comprehensive source for physical rehabilitation services. As a nonprofit organization, Brooks operates one of the nation’s largest inpatient rehabilitation hospitals in the U.S. with 160 beds, one of the region’s largest home healthcare agencies, 39 outpatient therapy clinics, a Center for Inpatient Rehabilitation in partnership with Halifax Health in Daytona Beach, the Brooks Rehabilitation Medical Group, two skilled nursing facilities, assisted living and memory care. Brooks will treat more than 50,000 patients through their system of care each year. In addition, Brooks operates the Clinical Research Center, which specializes in research for stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury and more to advance the science of rehabilitation. Brooks also provides many low or no cost community programs and services such as the Brooks Clubhouse, Brooks Aphasia Center and Brooks Adaptive Sports and Recreation to improve the quality of life for people living with physical disabilities. For more information, visit BrooksRehab.org


Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to innovation in clinical practice, education and research, and providing compassion, expertise and answers to everyone who needs healing. Visit the Mayo Clinic News Network for additional Mayo Clinic news and An Inside Look at Mayo Clinic for more information about Mayo.


Fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO,) Memorial Hospital, is known as a leader in quality, compassionate healthcare with a reputation maintained through excellent staff, along with programs of technological advances, growth and expansion to meet the ongoing needs of the community. Memorial Hospital serves the entire First Coast area. Visit memorialhospitaljax.com.


Orange Park Medical Center, serving Clay County and its surrounding communities, is a full-service, acute care hospital with 317 inpatient beds. Orange Park Medical Center is a Joint Commission Top-Performing Hospital, ranked as one of the best hospitals in the country for heart, lung and surgical care. For more information about services, facilities and physicians, please visit OrangeParkMedical.com.


UF Health Jacksonville is a private, not-for-profit hospital affiliated with the University of Florida Health campuses in Jacksonville and Gainesville. In Jacksonville, UF Health includes University of Florida faculty, residents and fellows within the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville, who team up with outstanding caregivers and other employees to provide state-of-the-art services to residents throughout northeast Florida and southeast Georgia. This academic health center’s mission is to heal, to comfort, to educate and to discover in an environment where exemplary medical care is complemented by outstanding service.

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