Change of heart good for county

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 20, 2004

The certificate of need recently awarded to Shelby Baptist Medical Center to perform open heart surgeries is welcome news to the people of Chilton and Shelby Counties.

We join with attorney Frank &uot;Butch&uot; Ellis in hoping that Brookwood Medical Center will say enough is enough and stop fighting SBMC in this effort to provide a much needed service to area residents.

Unfortunately, indications are that Brookwood doesn’t want to give up in its claim that an open heart facility at SBMC will impact Brookwood financially.

According to the brief filed by legal council for SBMC, however, &uot;The open heart program will save countless lives, and ease the burdens of some 220,000 citizens for whom Shelby Baptist is the closest hospital.&uot;

It was also pointed out that U.S. 280 corridor patients will probably continue to go

to Brookwood because it is closer. And opposed to a 45 percent loss of patients, Brookwood would probably not lose but 15 percent.

The State Health Planning and Development Agency decision to issue a certificate of need for this valuable service is long overdue and deserves to remain in effect.

When it comes to matters of the heart, financial concerns should take a back seat to what for many, could be a matter of life-and-death