This Week's Poll


Emergencies Should Not be Ignored; Our Local Facility is a Safe Place to Receive Care

Lake City, Fla., – We recognize that the country is very focused on COVID-19 impacts and it is easy for those who wish to seek care to be hesitant to do so in this time. As your local healthcare facility, we want to make sure individuals who need to seek care do. Do not put off today what could cause more trouble tomorrow, do not put off talking with your healthcare provider about concerns you are having.

Part of our response includes balancing our readiness to care for patients with COVID-19 while continuing to make sure the many other patients who depend on our hospital and Emergency Room receive needed and timely care. Our facility is a safe place to receive care; we’ve implemented comprehensive protocols to ensure the safety of our patients, colleagues and the visitors to our facilities.  We are following the recommended guidelines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as the Governor’s Executive Order 20-72, to review scheduled procedures based on a number of factors, including the urgency of the procedure, the clinical judgement of our physicians as well as the current circumstances in the facility and the community.

We are ready and able to handle patients who are both affected by this pandemic, and those who are experiencing emergencies that are unrelated to COVID-19.  We implore you to seek care for symptoms that are effecting your day-to-day or creating an emergency for your health.  We are safe, prepared and here for you.

We would like to reiterate that symptoms that need addressing and should not be put off:

Loss of consciousness
Chest pain
Stroke signs and symptoms
Gasping for air or not breathing
Allergic reaction
Uncontrollable bleeding
Traumatic injury
Broken bones
Head injury
Stomach pain
High Fever

Rest assured that we have robust procedures in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 within our hospital and Emergency Room.  Our colleagues are well trained to implement infectious disease protocols – this is something we do daily. Our hospitals go through a rigorous cleaning process typically, and additional procedures have been put in place in response to COVID-19.

We have procedures in place to separate suspected and positive COVID patients from other patients needs care in our facilities. Our routine procedures which include triaging patients/typical infectious disease protocols as well as rigorous Hospital Sanitization have been enhanced for COVID-19 by technological and procedural implementation to ensure the safety of our patients and colleagues. These enhancements include:
Emergency vehicle call-ins COVID-19 alerts
Specific infectious disease protocols for PPE
Cohorting COVID19 suspected and positive patients
Universal Masking
Screening Patients, Visitors and Colleagues
Advanced Visitor Policies
COVID-19 Screening Tool available on website
Telehealth and VivifyGo

I would like to send a confident message, that Lake City Medical Center and our Suwannee Campus is safe! We remain focused on safe quality care and remain focused to meet the needs of our community! As we have supported the neighboring community as the best of the best for over 20 years, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life.

Rick Naegler,
Chief Executive Officer
Lake City Medical Center and Suwannee ER

About Lake City Medical Center: Lake City Medical Center, a 91-bed acute care hospital serving the communities of Columbia, Hamilton and Suwannee counties for over 60 years. Lake City Medical Center is part of HCA Healthcare North Florida offering medical and surgical programs including 24-hour emergency care, cardiovascular care, interventional cardiology, orthopedics, cancer care, imaging, and rehabilitation services. Lake City Medical Center is an Accredited Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, an Accredited Chest Pain Center by the American College of Cardiology, and has achieved Disease Specific Certification in the treatment of Sepsis by the Joint Commission. The Medical Center has been named the area's Best of the Best Hospital 20 years in a row and employer of choice in 2019 by the Lake City-Columbia County Chamber of Commerce. For more information, please visit

About Suwannee ER Suwannee ER is a 12-bed Emergency Room committed to enriching our community through extraordinary healthcare for both adult and pediatric emergency patients, along with significantly shorter wait times providing the same level of excellent emergency care as Lake City Medical Center's Emergency Room. We pride ourselves on being one of the premier Emergency Room providers in the region. As a standalone ER, we are equipped to take care of our community and meet the needs of those experiencing sever medical emergencies that need immediate attention. These emergencies may include: broken bones, lacerations, joint dislocations, unresponsive patients, accident injuries, chest-pains, and stroke symptoms.