The Sacred Heart Medical Group is officially in Wewahitchka.

The Sacred Heart Medical Group is officially in Wewahitchka.

During a ceremony Monday, president of Sacred Heart Hospitals Roger Hall cut the ribbon on the new primary care center located on State 22 in the Health Department building.

This is the latest step in the expansion of Sacred Heart services for Gulf and Franklin counties.

“We now have Sacred Heart Hospital in Wewahitchka,” said Hall. “It’s important for the community and it’s a privilege to serve them.

“It’s a great day to make a difference in healthcare.”

Hall added that the lab, which offers x-rays and blood work, would be an important addition as patients wouldn’t need to drive to Panama City or Port St. Joe for certain tests.

Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Nancy Anderson will lead the primary care services set to include woman’s health screenings and lab and x-ray services.

Anderson holds a Master’s degree in Science of Nursing from Northwestern State University and completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice at the University of Alabama.

A Florida-licensed ARNP, she has been practicing since 1995. She spent 17 years practicing in southern Alabama; all the while Gulf County was her vacation destination of choice.

Once she decided to relocate permanently, she joined Sacred Heart in 2012.

“My first love is primary care,” said Anderson. “I love the community aspect here and the chance to be part of it. I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be.”

Advanced Registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) are advanced practice nurses with extensive training, including a master’s degree and clinical experience. 

ARNPs diagnose and treat diseases, provide appropriate education for patients, and prescribe medications. ARNPs often serve as a patient's primary health care provider and see patients of all ages.

Paulina Pendarvis, Physician and Volunteers Services Advocate for Sacred Heart, praised the advantages of new radiation diagnostics equipment which will allow test results to be shared with the hospital locations in Port St. Joe, Destin and Pensacola instantaneously.

“It’s the wonders of digital medicine,” said Pendarvis.

Women’s health screenings will be available Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. until 4 p.m. CT. Appointments can be made by calling 850-568-1053. Lab and x-ray services will continue on Fridays from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. CT.  No appointment is needed for lab and x-ray services.