Fort Walton Beach Medical Center

Fort Walton Beach Medical Center is a 257-bed hospital located in Fort Walton Beach in the panhandle of Northwest Florida.


The Autism Spectrum

April is Autism Awareness Month and just understanding that there is a broad range for this disorder is the beginning of the awareness effort. ASD or autism spectrum disorder refers to a range of complex neurodevelopmental disorders which are most commonly identified by impairment in social interaction and communication development. It doesn’t mean that if your child is ‘shy’ there’s a problem. ASD has many characteristics, and can range from mild to severe. Diagnosis of the disorder requires a thorough exam and review of behaviors by a qualified professional.

But let’s face it, parents are the ‘experts’ when it comes to knowing, typically from just a gut feeling, that something isn’t right and their child may have a problem. It’s that instinct that parents should act on. Children might have other issues going on that could be either behavioral or physical that are not related to ASD so getting an accurate diagnosis, early on, is key to providing the right treatment for your child.

While the cause of ASD is still being studied and debated, treatment after diagnosis is available. Skilled therapists offer educational and behavioral training to help children develop skills and counsel families on how to best cope with and help their ASD child. There are medications that physicians can prescribe, particularly with severe cases of ASD. And while there are other therapies available, many of them are controversial and not supported by any true scientific studies.

The best approach for a parent who feels their child may be on the autism spectrum is to seek advice from a qualified pediatrician who can assist in the evaluation process which begins with simply reviewing the child’s behavior history. A more thorough exam involves a variety of disciplines to pinpoint the severity of ASD and what treatment will be most effective.

There are many studies on ASD that can be accessed online and by visiting the website of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). For 24 hour health information, a physician referral or for more information about Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, please call 850-864-0213.

Cancer Avengers Paint FWBMC Purple!

No, you aren’t really going to see a purple hospital next time you drive by FWBMC, but you’ll certainly see splashes of the bright color as our Relay for Life ‘Cancer Avengers’ work to raise funds for this important cause.

Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) annual fundraising event that takes place all over the country in an effort to raise funds to battle this dreaded disease. FWBMC is proud to be a long-time partner of the ACS. The hospital’s relay team hosts a wide variety of fundraising activities like bake sales in front of the cafeteria (where you can also purchase team t-shirts to really get in the spirit.) On April 19 th, there will be a bowling tournament that will provide fun and funds for the cause. And of course on the night of the relay, the Cancer Avengers of FWBMC will be raising money selling a variety of items at their booth.

Relay for Life will be held on April 24 th at 6:00 p.m. at the Choctawhatchee High School, 110 Racetrack Road in Fort Walton Beach. You don’t have to be an employee or volunteer at FWBMC to participate and support our team’s efforts. You can donate money, buy items from our various sales, or attend one of our fundraising events. And every penny of the money goes to the ACS to help in the fight against cancer!

If you’d like to be a part of this important effort by supporting the FWBMC Cancer Avengers, please contact Melissa MacNicol at 850-240-6515 or email her at

What to Expect from Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Severe shoulder pain can interfere with simple daily activities. Thankfully, you don’t have to live with this pain forever. If your doctor determines that shoulder replacement surgery is right for you, you will need to meet with a surgeon in Walton Beach to determine whether full or total replacement surgery is needed. The procedure itself takes just a few hours, and recovery can take up to a few weeks. Watch this video to learn about the benefits of shoulder replacement surgery, how to prepare for surgery, and what to expect during recovery.

If you are suffering severe, chronic shoulder pain, visit Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and let our expert medical staff evaluate you and determine whether shoulder surgery is the best treatment option. Our Surgical Services Department is staffed with experienced surgeons, nurses, and other support staff to make your treatment a pleasant, worry-free experience. We also provide exceptional physical rehabilitation if you need help recovering after surgery.

Did You Hear That? It's a Shout Out to Get Screened for Diabetes!

March 24th is Diabetes Alert Day. It's in addition to the other 364 days a year that medical professionals shout from the mountain tops (or beaches, or country roads) to get screened for this disease that can drastically alter your entire life if not diagnosed, treated or managed appropriately.

A simple blood glucose test ordered by your family physician can tell you if you have diabetes or are pre-diabetic. A startling 79 million Americans are pre-diabetic and if they don’t make changes in their eating habits and lifestyle will likely develop type 2 diabetes. Getting tested and knowing that you’re at risk gives you the opportunity to make changes before the disease takes over your life.

Diabetes makes everything more complicated. It increases your risks for heart attack and stroke. It affects the body’s ability to heal. And if your diabetes requires you to take insulin shots or even oral medication, your life revolves around getting your meds on time to keep your sugar stabilized. Making healthier choices now sounds like a lot more fun.

The good news is that diabetes can be controlled and more importantly avoided in most cases if you make changes like eating better, exercising more, kicking the tobacco habit, and in general taking better care of the one and only YOU.

If there’s a family history of diabetes, you’re overweight, had a baby over 9 pounds, or experienced gestational diabetes, do yourself a favor and get tested. Call your doctor and say you heard those shouts and you want to get screened and address your risk factors BEFORE you develop diabetes.

For more information on diabetes screenings, diabetes education and management, or for a referral to a qualified physician, call our free Consult-A-Nurse service at 850-864-0213.

Early Detection is Key in Fighting Colon Cancer

Join FWBMC on March 19 th to Learn How to Prevent this Deadly Disease

Fort Walton Beach Medical Center (FWBMC) is an expert in cancer care. The Cancer Care Center at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center has a team that includes Physicians, an Oncology Support Team Nurse, Oncology Patient Navigators, Physical Therapists, Respiratory Therapists, Oncology MSW, Case Managers, Registered Dietician, and Pharmacists who work together to provide the very best care possible from diagnosis through treatment and survivorship. But as proud as we are of this high quality service, what we really want to help you do is avoid developing cancer in the first place.

Did you know that Colorectal Cancer, also known as Colon Cancer, is the third leading cause of cancer related deaths in the U.S. among men and women and is expected to cause about 49,700 deaths during 2015? However, routine testing starting at age 50 can actually prevent many cases of Colon Cancer or find it at an early stage. Because many people are not getting tested, only about 4 out of 10 are diagnosed at an early stage when treatment is likely to be successful.

As part of our effort to raise awareness about how critically important screening and early diagnosis are to your good health, FWBMC is hosting a special seminar to ensure a better understanding about this potentially deadly disease. Mark your calendars and make a point to join us for this free seminar that could save your life or that of someone you love.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Colon Cancer

Thursday, March 19 th | 12 p.m.

Mauri Lunderman, MD, General Surgeon

Fort Walton Beach Medical Center | 3 rd Floor Classroom A

Join Dr. Lunderman to learn about ways to reduce

your risk for colon cancer and the latest treatments available locally.

Light refreshments will be served.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, FWBMC offers a Cancer Support Group which provides encouragement and support to patients and caretakers. The support group meets the 2 nd and 4 th Tuesday of the month at 1:00 p.m. on the 4 th floor of the main hospital in the Oncology Resource Center.

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