About the Gulfport Hospital and ER

Garden Park Medical Center is a regional Gulfport medical center and ER, providing advanced medical care in Harrison County, including Biloxi and Long Beach. The hospital provides an extensive array of inpatient and outpatient services including 24-hour emergency room services. The hospital is an affiliate of HCA Healthcare, the nation’s leading provider of healthcare services that is made up of locally managed facilities that include 171 hospitals and 118 freestanding surgery centers located in 20 U.S. states and in the United Kingdom, and is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Garden Park has some of the most comprehensive services in Harrison County, featuring all private rooms with a number of specialty services including: Seasons Behavioral Health Center, Family Birth Center, Level III Trauma Center, Sleep Disorder Clinic, The Wound Healing Center and more.

Facts about the Gulfport hospital

40 years ago, on October 17, 1973, the first patient was admitted to the hospital by Dr. Jare Barkley, an internal medicine/general surgery practitioner. Earlier that month, the Mississippi Commission on Hospital Care issued a permit authorizing Garden Park Community Hospital to open for business. The hospital—developed and owned by a group of local investors—took three years to plan, finance and construct. Originally the facility was designed as a nursing home, but during construction the investors decided to open it as a 120-bed hospital.

The $3.5 million, 65,000 square-foot facility was described by the Daily Herald as an “ultra-modern structure…arranged in wings extending to the surgical suites, nurses’ stations, visitor gazebos, and a central focal point of an indoor restaurant set amid waterfall and tropical surroundings.” When the hospital opened, the restaurant services included waitresses, and the hospital also had a beauty salon on site. The nursing units featured four wings called Camellia, Magnolia, Azalea and Rose. The original entrance was located at 45th Avenue. The total equipment cost for the new building was nearly $1 million, according to an article in the Daily Herald, and included $150,000 worth of x-ray equipment “featuring televised pictures which the doctor can observe live.”

During that first year of service, 40 physicians joined the medical staff and over 220 persons were employed by the hospital. In 1978 a six-bed intensive care unit was added by converting existing rooms. In 1979, Brookwood Health Services, Inc. purchased the facility and operated it until AMI acquired it in 1981. The new owners quickly acquired additional acreage next to the existing facility and began expansion plans. Upon issuance of the Certificate of Need (CON) from the state, the hospital began construction on an addition to the facility which would nearly double the size of the building and add emergency room services. The addition was completed in 1985 with a new two-story section, new equipment and a new entrance off Broad Avenue.

The next several years brought many changes to Garden Park Medical Center and to the healthcare industry as well. In 1989, thirty-six AMI hospitals spun off to form an employee-owned company called Epic Healthcare. Five years later in 1994, HealthTrust, Inc. bought all of the Epic holdings to form the second largest healthcare company in the country. Less than a year later, HealthTrust was purchased by Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., the largest healthcare company in the nation. The company later dropped the name Columbia to become HCA, Hospital Corporation of America.

Over the past 40 years, the Garden Park has grown to meet the ever-changing needs of the community. In 1996, the hospital successfully obtained a CON to build a replacement facility on Community Road in the Orange Grove area. Detailed research indicated that the new location was the epicenter of growth for the community, and construction on the new facility began in 1998. Less than two years later, Garden Park Medical Center opened on May 23, 2000, with a modern, state-of-the-art facility that was twice the size of its previous building.

Since that time, Garden Park has continued to expand its services. The hospital is now focused on becoming the provider and employer of choice based on providing exceptional customer service and hiring employees who share the same values and believe in the hospital’s culture. With a solid core of services, a talented team of individuals focused on a culture of compassion and care, and a clear vision for the future, there is no doubt that Garden Park Medical Center’s next 35 years will be very bright.

  • Major healthcare provider for the area — particularly for northern areas of the coast counties
  • 130-bed acute care facility with all private rooms
  • An affiliate of HCA Inc., the nation’s leading provider of healthcare services
  • Fully accredited by The Joint Commission
  • Over 200 primary care physicians, specialists, and dentists on staff
  • Employ over 500 FT, PT and PRN clinical, professional and support personnel
  • Intensely focused on a culture of compassion and quality care
  • Strive to maintain high ratings for core measures and other national quality measures

Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life.

In pursuit of our mission, we believe the following value statements are essential and timeless:

  • We recognize and affirm the unique and intrinsic worth of each individual.
  • We treat all those we serve with compassion and kindness.
  • We trust our colleagues as valuable members of our healthcare team and pledge to treat one another with loyalty, respect, and dignity.
  • We act with absolute honesty, integrity, and fairness in the way we conduct our business and the way we live our lives.

Integrity means doing the right thing no matter what.  Integrity is the inner sense of ‘wholeness’ driving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character.

Compassion is a selfless passion from the heart to help those in needs.  Compassion is a virtue – one in which the emotional capacities of empathy and sympathy are regarded as part of love itself, and a cornerstone of greater social interconnection and humanism.

Advocacy is upholding the best interest of those we serve.  Many times our customers are unable to help themselves, and they are counting on us to be there.

Resourcefulness is when we use our human and financial resources in a way that makes the greatest difference.  Resourcefulness is the ability to think creatively, to generate ideas, and to identify alternatives. Resourcefulness is also imagination, the ability to visualize how something could be achieved when there is nothing there but the vision.

Excellence is a commitment to the relentless pursuit of improvement by every employee.

Randy Rogers, Chief Executive Officer
Stacey O’Connell, Chief Financial Officer
Blake Romero, Chief Nursing Officer
Michael Pocchiari, Vice President of Human Resources
Robert Stringer, Vice President of Clinical Operations
Tim West, Vice President of Operations

  • Michael Matthews, Chairman
  • Joseph Cottone, MD, Chief of Staff
  • Dave Dennis
  • R. Lance Johansen, MD
  • Cheryl Johnson
  • Don Mason
  • Gwenda Patton
  • Melvin Ray
  • Robert Raybourn