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As a critical access hospital providing essential healthcare services, Fishermen’s Community Hospital had been serving its island community in Marathon, a small city in the middle of the Florida Keys, since 1962. In September 2017, Category 5 Hurricane Irma swept through the Keys, devastating the islands and sealing the hospital’s fate. Baptist Health South Florida challenged us to help resurrect this important community resource. 

We developed a resilient design concept tailored to the hospital’s unique geographic risks, including a building envelope and hospital infrastructure designed to withstand Category 5 hurricane wind events and flood resistance features that exceed FEMA criteria. Due to reopen in winter 2021, the full replacement hospital will provide emergency services, diagnostic and imaging, surgical, critical care, lab, pharmacy, and outpatient services in line with the community’s needs.