The hospital building contains asbestos.
Florida Hospital Oceanside will never again open its doors, as Ormond Beach City Manager Joyce Shanahan announced at the City Commission meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 8, that the hospital plans to demolish the property in light of significant hurricane-caused structural damage and the discovery of asbestos.
The hospital confirmed plans to raze the structure on Monday, Aug. 13, and Lindsay Cashio, spokeswoman for Florida Hospital Volusia and Flagler, said the location of the hospital has made it vulnerable to storms each hurricane season. In 2004, she said the hospital was also closed for six months before it reopened. Hurricane Irma was the last straw.
"We understand that both residents and visitors to the beachside community need access points to quality health care," wrote Cashio in an email. "For the last 18 years, we have been privileged to provide health care services in Ormond Beach, and we remain committed to caring for the beachside community for many years to come. With a clear understanding of this area’s medical needs, we are working to develop a thoughtful plan for the property’s future."
Shanahan disclosed at the City Commission meeting that the hospital's initial plans are to build a new rehabilitation center, pharmacy and doctors' offices on the beachside location. Florida Hospital did not confirm any specific plans, but Cashio said they are considering their options.
The hospital was initially scheduled to reopen in 18 months in late October of last year.
The hospital is located in Zone 2, represented by City Commissioner Troy Kent. Florida Hospital Oceanside is the only hospital located within the city limits of Ormond Beach and the only one located on the beachside.
“The community has felt the loss of an emergency room on the peninsula," Kent said.
His hope is that Florida Hospital, or another health care provider, will open an emergency room on the beachside in Ormond. He said it is a need and something residents deserve.
Shanahan also mentioned that Florida Hospital may not use all of the site's four acres, which could generate an opportunity to construct off-beach parking.
If the hospital is demolished, and Florida Hospital decides against building a freestanding emergency room or clinic, people will need to rely on either Florida Hospital Memorial or Halifax Health — both which are located in Daytona Beach and could take beachside residents upwards of 25 minutes to get to.
“When there’s an emergency, time is of the essence, and the best care for patients, is with a doctor at a hospital or emergency clinic," Kent said.
Story was updated at 4:17 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 13, with new information that confirmed Florida Hospital Oceanside will in fact be demolished.