Baptist Medical Center Clay reaches key construction milestone

Local residents are one step closer to expanded access to convenient health care services.

Clay County’s newest hospital reached a construction milestone today as the final beam was hoisted on top of the 6-story structure at a “Topping Out” ceremony. Opening in the fall of 2022, Baptist Medical Center Clay will offer local residents a full array of hospital-based medical and surgical services.

Baptist Health is investing $215 million to build the new full-service hospital, which will create 400 new jobs in Clay County. The hospital is being built on the existing Baptist Clay campus on Fleming Island. The 300,000-square-foot medical facility will open with 100 large private rooms and room for expansion to match the community’s growth.

“Clay County residents tell us they need more hospital-based health care services close to where they live and work,” said Darin Roark, BSN, MBA, RN, FACHE, hospital president of Baptist Clay. “Having a full-service hospital nearby will eliminate the need for travel, while providing the medical expertise that Baptist Health is known for.”

With a median age of 39 in Clay County, the hospital will include a 20-room Labor & Delivery Center and a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit specially designed to allow parents to stay overnight with their infant.

Other services will include advanced cardiology, cancer care from Baptist MD Anderson, a Women’s Imaging Center, and a wide range of specialties to serve the rapidly expanding Clay County area.

These services are in addition to those already existing at the Baptist Clay Campus in Fleming Island, which opened in May of 2013, including an adult ER, a Wolfson Children’s Hospital ER, a high-tech surgery center, specialty services, and imaging.

The hospital is designed with modern features with patients’ needs in mind, including placing diagnostic equipment near the ICU for patients who need it the most, and corridors designed with calming LED lighting, and centralized staff services to minimize noise.

The new hospital is incorporating enhanced safety measures learned from COVID-19, including negative pressure rooms in the Intensive Care Unit, enhanced oxygen delivery capabilities and touchless bathroom fixtures.

Community amenities are part of the 46-acre campus, with an outdoor jogging trail, a coffee shop, an outdoor dining area, and a large community room for meetings and education that can hold up to 125 people.

“It will be a place of health and wellness for the community,” said Roark. “We will host a variety of health-related events, such as “Talk with a Doc” discussions on a variety of health topics.”

Roark joined Baptist Health in 2012 as an assistant administrator overseeing all emergency centers in the health system. He has served as administrator of the Baptist Clay Medical Campus since October 2013 and serves as the Baptist Health liaison in Clay County.

Roark serves on the board of the Clay County Chamber of Commerce and served as chairman of the board in 2020. He is also vice chairman of the board of supervisors for the Clay County Utility Authority. Roark and his family live in Fleming Island.

“I am excited and humbled to bring the most advanced medical services to Clay County with a hometown feel,” he said. “Our team members live, work and play alongside the community we serve. It’s truly neighbor taking care of neighbor.”