I would like to congratulate the county commission, Weems Hospital Board, Mr. Ray Brownsworth and all others that may be involved in the building of a new hospital in Apalachicola.

Apalachicola’s first hospital was a renovated Army barracks building at the airport with 13 beds, a small obstetrical wing and operative suite. The hospital served the needs of the community from the time of its opening in 1948 until the completion of the new hospital with 25 beds at the present site in 1959.

The new $300,000 hospital had a daily average census of patients of about 16 or 17. It had a surgical suite, obstetrical suite and an emergency room.

The point I would like to make is will only a 10-bed facility serve the needs of the community?

Certainly with a new facility, more doctors will be attracted to come to Apalachicola. The young family practice physicians are well-qualified to meet most of the medical needs of the citizens. Add an obstetrician and general surgeon and you will have a small rural medical center. I would like to think there are enough newborn babies annually in the county to support an obstetrician. There will always be surgical patients.

So, think about it. Will a 10-bed facility take care of the needs of the community or do you need 15 or 20 beds or more?

Good luck with this endeavor, but please out it on “fast forward” as much as possible for I would like to be there on opening day and my days are numbered at this stage of my life.

Sincerely and cordially,

Photis J. Nichols, M.D.