The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals cleared the way for Brookwood to open a freestanding ER in Shelby County. (Contributed)
The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals cleared the way for Brookwood to open a freestanding ER in Shelby County. (Contributed)

Archived Story

State court clears way for freestanding Brookwood ER

Published 4:20pm Tuesday, August 13, 2013

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

NORTH SHELBY — The path is clear for a freestanding emergency room in Shelby County after the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals affirmed a lower court decision upholding the Certificate of Need allowing Brookwood Medical Center to open such a facility on U.S. 280.

The state Certificate of Need Review Board awarded Brookwood the right to open a freestanding ER in Shelby County in 2010. Since then, legal challenges have stopped the project from moving forward.

“We are delighted that the court saw the merits of the case and the benefits of our emergency room,” Brookwood CEO Garry Gause stated in a press release. “This project has received tremendous support throughout the communities we serve. Our proposal presents a clear, cost-effective solution to a critical health care problem. Brookwood serves as a primary provider of health care services to Shelby County residents, and we look forward to continuing to provide the high quality care people have come to expect from our hospital.”

The facility, to be located at the intersection of U.S. 280 and Alabama 119, will be the first freestanding ER in Alabama, and will cost $19 million to build. The ER will have almost 20,000 square feet of space, and will be open 24 hours a day to serve patients, according to the press release.

Brookwood spokesperson Stephen Preston said in a phone interview that if there are no more legal challenges to the project, construction will start “right away” and is expected to take about a year to complete.

“This is definitely a much-needed service,” he said.

The facility will have 24-hour fully staffed laboratory services, along with a pharmacy and diagnostic services. Triage protocols will be in place for stabilization and immediate transfer of patients requiring care from existing acute care hospitals in the Birmingham area. A helipad will be available for emergency air transfer, according to the press release.

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