The Florida Department of Health released a four-page outline Friday of steps it plans to take leading to the January 1 closing of the state’s last tuberculosis treatment center, Lantana’s A.G. Holley Hospital.
But the document, ordered by the Florida Legislature, basically is a logical how-to when it comes to shuttering the 62-year-old facility. The practical difficulties of relocating 37 severely ill patients and what the state plans to do with Holley’s 144-acre campus are reduced mostly to aspirational goals.
Eleven of the patients at Holley have been hospitalized there under court-order, DOH acknowledges.
DOH, however, states in the transition plan that there are “ongoing discussions with several licensed hospitals” for accepting Holley patients who need continued in-patient care. “The anticipated contracts for hospitalization remain in a stage of active negotiation,” DOH said.
“Our Department of Health continues to demonstrate our commitment to meeting the needs of Floridians with tuberculosis as we work to reduce the risk of tuberculosis across our state,” said State Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong. “We remain focused as well on facilitating the transition of our AG Holley employees to new opportunities.”
The town of Lantana has long talked about acquiring the hospital site and using it to lure industry to the area.
The state has talked about closing Holley for years but has been stymied by a host of problems related to the facility’s population of patients difficult to treat.