By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Atmore Community Hospital (ACH) Administrator Brad Lowery, as well as numerous ACH employees and Escambia County Healthcare Authority officials, formally welcomed Dr. Marc Saunders, the city’s newest physician, to the community during a March 28 Open House event at the new surgeon’s office.
Saunders will be headquartered at 406 Medical Park Drive, just across the street from the hospital, in the building formerly occupied by MedPlus.
Dr. Saunders, a fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS), earned his medical degree from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine of the New York Institute of Technology. He completed his residency at St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown, Ohio and began his surgical career in 1995.
After a four-year stint (2017-2020) as a general surgeon with Baptist Medical Group in Pensacola, Fla., he worked as a wound care physician in Miramar, Fla. before accepting the job with ACH.
“I spent 30 years in Ohio,” said Saunders, who will be an employee of ACH, as he greeted guests during the Open House, which featured two tables covered in finger foods, water and punch in the office building lobby. “I moved down here to Pensacola in 2017, to work at Baptist, which had borrowed a lot of money to build a new hospital just before COVID hit. There was little for surgeons to do, since there was no elective surgery at the time. They then had layoffs in late 2020, and I was one of them.”
Saunders said his experience includes a little of this and a little of that, including participating in the political end of medicine.
“I’ve done a little of everything,” he said. “I’ve even been involved in the politics of medicine. I was on the board of the Ohio State Medical Association; I’ve been a medical staff president, a county medical society president, chairman of a surgery department, and a trauma medical director. I’ve been around the block a bit.”
The 62-year-old surgeon, who will hold daily clinics at his Atmore office while also coordinating surgeries with the hospital surgery department, will be a key to ACH’s plan to greatly improve the quality of medical care available within the community.
“We have been working for some time to bring a staff surgeon to Atmore Community Hospital,” Lowery said. “Dr. Saunders will bring a wealth of surgical experience and will significantly expand access to general surgical care for the Atmore community and surrounding areas. I am delighted that Dr. Saunders will be joining our medical staff.”
Saunders said he has been welcomed with open arms by medical administrators, the rank and file of the hospital, and local government and business leaders.
“It’s been very nice; everybody has been so helpful,” he said. “I’m glad to see they’re happy that I’m here.”