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2008 Press Releases
Starkey Family Pledges $1 Million to the Health of the Next Generation

    Pasco Family Helps Fund Morton Plant North Bay Hospital’s Expansion

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla., (June 23, 2008) - Jay B. and Marsha Starkey, longtime residents of Pasco County, have made a major commitment to advancing the community’s health care resources through a $1 million pledge to the expansion of Morton Plant North Bay Hospital.

“We are so grateful for the Starkey’s commitment to quality health care in Pasco County,” said John Couris, chief operating officer of Morton Plant North Bay Hospital. “This pledge is a great start to our 2nd Century Campaign to help fund our new Morton Plant North Bay Hospital.”

Construction began in January on Morton Plant North Bay’s new plan for a comprehensive, community-based medical complex expected to nearly double the size of the existing hospital campus by the end of 2010.

“Conserving the land and planning for future generations of Floridians has long been a part of our family’s purpose. By supporting West Pasco’s only not-for-profit, community based hospital, we believe we are taking a new step in supporting a hospital that offers advanced, accessible health care for all residents,” said Jay B. Starkey, Jr.

“The new Morton Plant North Bay is intended to provide for the health of the community for years to come,” noted Marsha Starkey, who is a member of Morton Plant North Bay’s board of directors. “We are so proud that we can be a part the hospital’s mission to improve the health of the community.”

Included in Morton Plant North Bay’s expansion will be a new three-story patient wing with a new intensive care unit, cardiac unit, medical surgical unit, and 34 new private beds, new respiratory care services and community education facilities. A three-story medical office building will include physician offices, an expanded sleep disorders unit, laboratory services and outpatient rehabilitation services. Renovations to the emergency room, a new walk-in clinic and support facilities such as a landscaped storm water retention area are also planned.

“Community support is vital continue offering innovative health care solutions to our patients and their families,” said Philip K. Beauchamp, president and chief executive office of Morton Plant Mease Health Care. The Starkeys have long been leaders in Pasco County and we are so appreciative for their willingness to make this significant gift to support Morton Plant North Bay Hospital.”

About the Starkey Family

The Starkey family’s involvement with Pasco County is legendary and began when Jay B. Starkey, Sr. acquired 16,000 acres of pasture in 1937. Over time, the family has become known for ranching and advocating conservation by placing large portions of their property into protected wilderness and park lands known as the Jay B Starkey Wilderness Park. More recently the family has moved into the arena of responsible development with Longleaf and future projects.

About Morton Plant North Bay Hospital

Established in 1965, Morton Plant North Bay Hospital is a 122-bed facility committed to improving the health of everyone it serves. Morton Plant North Bay’s stroke care program has received the highest level of recognition - the Gold Seal of ApprovalTM for Primary Stroke Care from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). The hospitals of Morton Plant Mease Health Care are part of the first group of hospitals nationally to have earned re-certification of the Gold Seal of Approval™ for stroke care from the Joint Commission. In 2008, the hospital was awarded Magnet Designation for the second time by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the most prestigious national recognition of excellence in nursing care. Morton Plant North Bay Hospital is located at 6600 Madison Street, New Port Richey, Fla., (727) 842-8468.

About Morton Plant Mease

Nationally recognized for health care excellence, Morton Plant Mease Health Care is dedicated to providing community owned health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. Morton Plant Mease Health Care is comprised of the following hospitals – Morton Plant, Clearwater; Mease Dunedin, Dunedin; Mease Countryside, Safety Harbor and Morton Plant North Bay, New Port Richey.

Contact: Beth Hardy (727) 298-6199 Phone, (727) 402-8113 Pager or Amy Morrow (727) 461-8538 Phone, (727) 402-5975 Pager