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South County liaison for new hospital now at work

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image Judy Martin

Although the St. Joseph’s Hospital South campus is only beginning to take shape, one of its first staff members already is on the job.

By MELODY JAMESON

Although the St. Joseph’s Hospital South campus is only beginning to take shape, one of its first staff members already is on the job.

Judy Martin, who retired earlier this year as director of the South Florida Baptist Hospital Foundation, now is at work in the South County as liaison between the hospital administration and the various communities that comprise the region. Both South Florida Baptist and the St. Joseph Hospitals are part of the local multi-facility network now known as the BayCare Health System.

Martin said this week her efforts to serve as an informational conduit between the new hospital and the South County officially began September 4. In the last month, she added, she has been becoming better acquainted with the region geographically. At this stage, she noted, she’s spending about 15 hours a week spread over two or three days each week actually in the area.

Her new job title is Director of Community Outreach, St. Joseph’s Hospital South.

In this capacity, Martin said she would like to speak to groups of various types – social, civic, business and community-related – to introduce the many aspects of the new hospital and to learn what the South County’s diverse populations deem most important at their new facility. “I’m most interested in getting the pulse of the communities,” she noted, adding she is planning a talk for the Apollo Beach Woman’s Club in November.

The liaison officer also said she can be available to meet “one-on-one” with community leaders and is interested in learning about any community events such as Sun City Center’s Fun Fest or South County trade shows where information about the new St. Joseph’s could be appropriately provided.

The new St. Joseph’s South, like other facilities in its network, is expected to offer public programs with a health care focus tailored to the needs of the communities it serves, Martin said. For example, at other related hospitals, features such as “Ladies Night Out” zeroing in on health issues of specific concern to women and “For Parish Nurses,” aiming at supportive information for congregations, have been conducted. “I want to know what the various segments of the South County wish to learn about or participate in at the new St. Joseph’s South,” she added.

Martin, who led the South Florida Baptist Foundation headquartered in Plant City, for more than 16 years and is credited with building it from scratch, has held only one other job during her adult career, she said. She also worked for Tampa Electric Company in marketing and energy management capacities for 32 years. “My working life has not been 8 to 5,” she noted, indicating that variety and spontaneity are job descriptions she particularly values.

Ground has been broken for the new hospital campus in the southeast corner of Big Bend Road and Simmons Loop. Grading of the acreage currently is underway for what eventually will be the site of the multi-specialty medical facility with 90 patient suites and 22 observation rooms.

The first structure to rise on the site is to be the St. Joseph’s South Professional Office Building located in the northeast corner of the campus, said Lisa Patterson, BayCare spokesperson.

Architecturally similar to St. Joseph’s North, which opened last year in northwest Hillsborough County, St. Joseph’s South is scheduled to take in patients beginning during the first quarter of 2015. Its service area is expected to be all of the South County as well as Brandon and East Tampa, Patterson said.
Martin noted that she expects to be on the staff when the new facility opens in about two years “working to get people excited about better access to health care and about their options in the health realm.” She can be contacted at Judy.Martin@BayCare.org

Copyright 2012 Melody Jameson

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