On Saturday, Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast commemorated the 20-year anniversary of the hospital. The celebratory event was held under a tent on the campus. Attendees included community supporters as well as dozens of hospital associates, providers and volunteers who have been with the facility since it opened.
“Having nearly 60 people who have been here since Day One is a special statement,” said Bryan Walrath, President, Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast. “We have a culture that is second to none and donors who continue to significantly support our efforts to meet the healthcare needs of our community as the only hospital in Walton County. “
Walrath opened the event and led the program. Roger Hall, who served as hospital president from 2002 until 2020, provided a reflection and prayer. Participants honored 20-year associates, providers and volunteers. They also enjoyed food including tacos and barbecue catered by Grayton Beach Catering and live music provided by The Backsliders.
In 2000, community members began a purple ribbon campaign, raising $20 million toward hospital construction, with the land being donated by the St. Joe Company. The next year, construction began on the $53 million facility. Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast opened on January 27, 2003.
Since then, the hospital has added a joint replacement program, the Family Birth Place, a heart and vascular center, robotic spine surgery services and expanded primary and specialty care services throughout the area. Most recently, the hospital opened a Level II NICU, two new women’s diagnostic centers and expanded pediatric and emergency services backed by Studer Family Children’s Hospital. This year, thanks to generous donors, the hospital will be adding a new CT machine to improve access to quality imaging services as well as patient convenience and safety.
The 20-year milestone will continue to be celebrated throughout the year including at the upcoming Emerald Ball on Saturday, February 4.
Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast is a full-service hospital with 24/7 emergency care for adults and children. The hospital consistently ranks among the top hospitals in the county for patient safety, experience and satisfaction and remains a destination for specialty care including spine and joint replacement surgery, heart care and cancer care.