PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Work has begun on one of Panama City Beach’s largest medical advancements in history.

Officials ceremoniously turned dirt for the FSU Health – Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare medical campus.

“Today is the day we’ve been waiting for in Panama City Beach for years,” Panama City Beach Mayor Mark Sheldon said. “Quality health care coming to Panama City Beach and being a medical destination, a research destination. FSU Medical with TMH is bringing healthcare to Panama City Beach like we’ve never seen before.”

The first facility will be an 80,000-square-foot medical office building. That is scheduled to be completed next year.

This building will house primary care physicians, an urgent care center, an ambulatory surgery center, as well as cardiology and orthopedic services.

Plans also include a 100-bed hospital with an emergency center and other inpatient services including surgery, cardiology procedures, and imaging, to be complete by the end of 2027.

“We anticipate that this eventually will be built out as a 500+ bed campus,” TMH President and CEO Mark O’Bryant said. “A hospital that will include components that tie to research, health education, bringing nursing education, physician education to the market and bring in research opportunities that will allow the people to receive care here that otherwise they would have had to go out of town to receive.”

O’Bryant also emphasized the importance of the partnership with FSU. He said teaching students here will help to keep them in Bay County.

“The best health care providers are people who are local and if you can create a model where people train here,” O’Bryant said. “Where doctors who train here understand and recognize the value of a community, it’s easier to attract them back.”

When complete, the more than 80-acre campus will sit at the southeast intersection of Phillip Griffits Sr. Pkwy and Highway 79.