St. Anthony's Emergency Center Opens New Hybrid Rooms

June 03, 2024
A man dressed in a blue shirt and wearing a badge talks with a woman in plaid jacket whose back is to the camera.
Lawrence Peter Y. Mendiola, DO, the hospital’s emergency services medical director, gives a tour of the new rooms to Sr. Mary McNally, vice president mission, just before she led a blessing of the new space.


The St. Anthony’s Hospital Emergency Center recently opened 13 private patient rooms to provide an enhanced environment for behavioral health patients and to meet the needs of the community. The rooms, which opened May 13, also can be used for general emergencies. 

“We are so happy to have this new space,” said A.J. Mulligan, Emergency Center nurse manager. “We need (this space) to expand and grow with the community.”

“This (expansion) definitely will make a lot of difference for us, but you’re the ones that it’s really about,” Sr. Mary McNally, OSF, vice president of mission, said to the team during a blessing of the expansion. “We’re happy you’re getting what you deserve and what we need (to serve the community). We bless this area … and realize what a blessing it is for all of us and what a blessing you are for us.”

When the Emergency Center opened in 2010, it had 32 private patient exam rooms, two critical cardiac care exam rooms and an expedited triage and admissions area. There was space for six behavioral health patients, however it was within a shared space. But as the number of behavioral health patients has increased in the community, St. Anthony’s and BayCare’s commitment to provide those services has grown.

BayCare is West Central Florida’s largest provider of behavioral health services and that care is rooted in more than 50 years of community service.

While the rooms can be used for regular emergency patients, when they are needed for behavioral health patients, a garage door-like apparatus can be closed for the security of the patient. 

“We’re really excited to have the new space,” said Lawrence Peter Y. Mendiola, DO, the hospital’s emergency services medical director. “It’s a great thing that we can provide for the people of St. Petersburg, to be involved in their care and to be the hospital that they choose to come to.”

A group of people, some dressed in regular street clothes while others are dressed in hospital scrubs, smile as they stand in a large room.
The Emergency Center team was excited to gather for a blessing of the new rooms before they opened last month.


The patient rooms are just part of the expansion project which will cost about $32 million. The expansion also includes the addition of a second CT scanner and more imaging space. The second CT scanner and increased imaging facility will continue to help expedite diagnosis.

Imaging will move into the old behavioral health area. Once that is complete, the second CT scanner room will be completed.

Increased space in the emergency center waiting room and more room for security screening also are part of the project. 

The lobby is being expanded in two phases with part of the new lobby entrance opening in about three weeks, Mulligan said. The new entrance will allow patients to come directly to the Emergency Center for treatment. Patients and visitors have had to enter through the hospital’s Jackson Street entrance for more than a year to get to the emergency center. 

The entire lobby will open in about three-four months.

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