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Lee Health Receives a $4.3 Million Grant from the Hurricane Recovery Grant Program to Build Wells at its Hospitals

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This allocation will help bolster vital water resources for the health system, staff and patients

(Fort Myers, Fla. – May 31, 2024) --- Lee Health is pleased to announce a $4.3 million grant from the Florida Department of Emergency Management’s Hurricane Recovery Grant Program, awarded by Governor DeSantis, aimed at supporting post-Hurricane Ian recovery efforts and enhancing the health system’s water well infrastructure, which plays a vital role in accessing, managing and delivering water resources to support essential healthcare services.

As of now, the total project cost is estimated at $14.7 million, which includes fifteen total wells, including at the new hospital campus soon to be under construction on Challenger Blvd. Progress has already started at several sites. 

In the wake of Hurricane Ian, water was trucked to several Lee Health facilities when the infrastructure was impacted by the storm. Adding wells at every hospital campus will allow for the health system to work independent of other water sources in the event of a disaster. 

Lee Health is committed to seeking additional funding to support the additional cost, exploring opportunities for supplementary grant dollars and other forms of support to ensure the completion of this critical project.

Progress is underway at the Lee Health facilities already, planning for the locations of the wells at each hospital. Positioning the wells and full construction will occur at each location throughout the coming months.

"Our hospitals emerged from Hurricane Ian in remarkable condition, with the most significant issue being water infrastructure," said Larry Antonucci, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Lee Health. “The new wells safeguard the health and safety of our patients and staff, especially during challenging times like post-disaster recovery. In the event of another major emergency, an enhanced well infrastructure will serve as a lifeline, ensuring uninterrupted access to water for patients and staff. We are deeply grateful for this opportunity to strengthen our infrastructure and continue to provide exceptional care to the Southwest Florida community in the face of future challenges.”

Lee Health extends its appreciation to everyone who has contributed to this major achievement, including Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Emergency Management, under the leadership of Kevin Guthrey, for their instrumental role in ensuring the availability of grant funds for this crucial purpose, and Senator Jonathan Martin and Representative Tiffany Esposito, whose original appropriations paved the way for this grant.

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