PALM COAST, Florida (July 25, 2023) – Clearly the man of the hour, cheers went up when Wally De Aquino’s name was formally announced during the ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony on Tuesday evening to close out the celebration’s speaker lineup. Taking the podium, the genuine feeling of support and enthusiasm for De Aquino was palpable from well-wishers gathered as the new President and CEO of the AdventHealth Palm Coast Parkway location stepped up to the microphone to welcome invited guests and dignitaries.

AdventHealth Palm Coast Parkway President & CEO Wally De Aquino.
©Flagler News Weekly/Danielle Anderson

The new full-service hospital has been a long time coming. Since starting the project in 2019, AdventHealth has invested $167 million into the new hospital that will serve Flagler’s rapidly growing communities. The parkway location adds 100 beds to Flagler County’s healthcare assets and will help relieve pressure on the main campus, less than 10 miles south of the new location.

Grateful for the opportunity, it was the humility in De Aquino’s voice as he thanked people by name, that has earned him the respect of peers and colleagues alike. Lowkey, his humble demeanor is matched only by his work ethic and dedication to serving the community, demonstrated throughout the COVID pandemic.

Looking forward to the next chapter, De Aquino is ready to take on the challenge of CEO as the new hospital opens it’s doors to the community.

“Today is an exciting day. One of the best days of my life. It’s been very exciting, not going to lie, nervous at times, but I’m being told it’s natural,” shared De Aquino. “We’re excited that we’re able to be part of such a great project in our own community where I live, where my kids can come and work, or family members can come and be treated as well. This is surreal.”

Flagler County Commission Chairman Greg Hansen, AdventHealth Palm Coast President/CEO Denyse Bales-Chubb, AdventHealth Palm Coast Parkway President/CEO Wally De Aquino, Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin, and AdventHealth Central Florida-North Region President/CEO Dr. Audrey Gregory. ©Flagler News Weekly/Danielle Anderson

Ensuring the hospital is ready on August 2nd and will remain staffed to serve the community, De Aquino is acutely aware of the impact the hospital will have on economic development as well as the options for high quality healthcare.

“We have a lot of high-skilled employees that are moving into our area and we were able to capture a lot of local talent as well. This is definitely going to have an impact for our community as we continue to grow and provide these types of jobs in our community,” he said.

“We are going to continue to hire not only staff but physicians, and physicians that are highly needed in our community, so that will create a positive impact and more access for everyone here in Flagler County.”

“We actually are looking for more family practice and we’re not going to stop for the next few years. We’re going to continue hiring,” said De Aquino.

Faith-Based Service, Compassionate Care

Tuesday was something of a family reunion for the AdventHealth teams. Joining Dr. Audrey Gregory, President/CEO for Central Florida’s North Region, and Denyse Bales-Chubb, President/CEO of AdventHealth Palm Coast overseeing the Flagler and St. Johns markets, was West Florida Division President/CEO David Ottati, a former CEO and President of AdventHealth Palm Coast. Among those attending the milestone celebration, Ottati helped start the project while overseeing the Central Florida market.

AdventHealth Palm Coast Parkway President/CEO Wally De Aquino, AdventHealth West Florida Division President/CEO Daivd Ottati and Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin. ©Flagler News Weekly/Danielle Anderson.

“I’m trying to remain poised and not be overexcited, but who’s excited?” asked Gregory from the podium addressing the crowd, while giving a nod to senior leaders of AdventHealth in attendance.

“This new state-of-the-art facility will serve as a beacon of hope and healing. It embodies AdventHealth’s $167 million investment in the community’s healthcare infrastructure. Today, before we open to patients on August 2nd, we are thrilled to showcase for you our new hospital, with it’s cutting-edge amenities, advanced medical technology, and compassionate care environment.”

Noting accolades including Forbes’ 2022 Best Employer for New Grads, and America’s Best Employer for New Grads, and a listing among Newsweek’s Most Trustworthy Companies for America 2023, helped when announcing employment opportunities within the new hospital. Multiple successful hiring events were held to ensure staffing levels were adequately met to serve the needs of the community.

Flagler Broadcasting’s Kirk Keller, Palm Coast City Councilwoman Teresa Pontieri, City of Palm Coast Assistant City Manager, Dwyer & Knight attorney Marc Dwyer. ©Flagler News Weekly/Danielle Anderson

“A team of 15 recruiters helped us to hire new talented team members and physicians. These events have been very successful and we have all of the clinicians and team members ready and in place for us to open our doors and see patients next week,” added Bales-Chubb. “Our recruitment continues for key positions such as lab, imaging and of course we are always hiring nurses.”

Building the Workforce of Tomorrow

“This is so important for us, number one, the jobs, but number two, we are creating a center of excellence in the Palm Coast/Flagler County area for medicine. With our three nursing schools, these two hospitals and a potential third hospital coming in, this is going to be a big deal,” said Flagler County Commission Chairman Greg Hansen. “It’s going to put us on the map for medical care.”

SouthState Bank Garry Lubi, Flagler County Commission Chairman Greg Hanse, TouchPoint Innovative Solutions’ Melanie DiMartino, Flagler County Commissioner Andy Dance, and Palm Coast City Councilman Ed Danko. ©Flagler News Weekly

Hansen praised De Aquino’s commitment to empowering patients while improving the quality of healthcare in the community and was pleased to see him at the helm of the new location.

“I’ve known Wally for a long time. I’m on the foundation and also the citizens advisory group for the hospital and he has done a remarkable job. This is a great promotion and he deserved it.”

AdventHealth Palm Coasts Jen Mellow.

AdventHealth Palm Coast has worked closely with the Flagler School district over a number of years to help prepare students for the future. Flagler County Education Foundation board president Joe Wright is encouraged by the future possibilities.

“This is huge for our community, the advancement of our classrooms to careers and how the schools are working with the hospital, training and getting people to move toward the future,” said Wright. “We are well ahead of the rest of the communities in our state and it shows every day in the kids we’re turning out.”

State-of-the-art equipment. ©Flagler News Weekly

Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin discussed both the personal and professional benefits of the addition of AdventHealth Palm Coast Parkway in the region.

“There’s nothing more important than the enthusiasm and the energy and the life that you bring here today. Today is the day that we expand healthcare in Palm Coast as a result of AdventHealth Palm Coast Parkway opening it’s doors for us. AdventHealth is a critical anchor in our community, a place where lives are healed,” said Alfin, sharing his own recent, personal experience with AdventHealth.

Jeff Fennell joins Rotary Club of Flagler County President Charles Barbel, President-Elect Casey Ryan. © Flagler News Weekly

“While my doctors and nurses worked with me with incomparable medical professionalism, they personalized my care with compassion. While healing me physically, they engaged me, accelerating my recovery, making me feel human again.”

“AdventHealth has created over 700 jobs here, providing a boost to our economy, and career opportunities for doctors, nurses, technicians, administration, food services, sanitation,” continued Alfin. “This new facility will ensure a steady flow of reputable, talented professionals within their system.”

AdventHealth Palm Coast Parkway is located at 1 AdventHealth Way, Palm Coast, Florida. More Information is available at

Community Event:

The community is invited to attend the Picnic on the Parkway, set for July 26, 2023 from 1-4 PM where guests can enjoy food, entertainment, and tours of the new hospital.