Baptist’s Roark provides insight into hospital’s creation at Bridge-To-Bridge

By Lee Wardlaw lee@claytodayonline.com
Posted 1/18/23

FLEMING ISLAND – Behind the beautiful backdrop setting of a golf course, palm trees, and sunny, blue skies on Jan. 11, the Clay County Chamber of Commerce hosted its Bridge-To-Bridge networking …

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Baptist’s Roark provides insight into hospital’s creation at Bridge-To-Bridge

Posted

FLEMING ISLAND – Behind the beautiful backdrop setting of a golf course, palm trees, and sunny, blue skies on Jan. 11, the Clay County Chamber of Commerce hosted its Bridge-To-Bridge networking event of the year at the Talons Clubhouse Restaurant.

The diverse set of entrepreneurs coming from a myriad of career fields then heard from Baptist Medical Center Clay President Darin Roark about the two-year construction project that finally led to the completion of a 102-room hospital.

Roark joined Baptist Health in 2012 as an assistant administrator responsible for overseeing all emergency centers. He became the administrator of the Baptist Clay Medical Campus in 2013.

After being promoted to the hospital president, he also served an ever-crucial role in orchestrating the successful opening of the 300,000-square-foot, full-service hospital that opened its doors on Dec. 19.

Roark outlined several points of pride regarding the new, beautiful, state-of-the-art facility that already employs 361 people – 65% which live in the county.

Roark touted the facility’s private rooms, which include 20 maternity suites and 10 neonatal intensive care unit rooms. The maternity and NICU rooms are designed to look like resort suites and feature properly-adjusted lighting, large bathrooms, a sofa, a refrigerator, and other amenities for the father to provide comfort during the family’s birth process.

Other onsite amenities include a hospital cafeteria, a large outdoor dining area, and a large community room for meetings and education that can hold a capacity of up to 125 guests.

Roark said the hospital serves the best hamburgers in town. He also said residents are welcome to sit down for lunch at the hospital.

Other than addressing residents about the facility’s amenities and points of pride, the president did a little of everything while occupying the lectern, Roark both describing an anecdotal story about an illness that sent his son to Baptist Clay soon after its grand opening and answering tough questions about the hospital such as mental health services and a possibility of a children’s hospital.

Roark also spoke about the family, a community-oriented culture he’s helped establish at the hospital’s employee community, an undertaking that includes treating all colleagues and patients with a first-class level of respect and a no-tolerance policy of cleaning up any mess.

“It’s just great to be able to share the story of what’s available right here in Clay County and to help the county be able to prosper by communicating the world-class offerings that are right here close to home. I’m very grateful that the chamber continues to support local businesses by giving us great opportunities to speak at great events like this,” Roark said.

Everyone enjoyed open networking complete with casual conversations and laughter before the onset of the event.

After that, committee members and government officials were given a warm welcome to the event, which was followed by an address from Chamber President Jon Cantrell, who provided a fresh slate of announcements.

Similarly to Finally Friday, all in attendance were allowed to speak, with each member of the audience stating their name, job title and company they represent.

André Van Heerden, founder of Clay SafetyNet Alliance, will be the featured guest speaker at Bridge To Bridge’s next meeting on Feb. 8, which will be dedicated to helping nonprofits to work together to better solve challenges.

The Chamber will recognize nonprofit members at the next meeting and encourage companies to pay the way for a staff member or an advisor to attend.

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