Court will not stop open heart surgery at SBMC

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 14, 2004

A motion by Brookwood Medical Center and the State Health Planning and Development Agency (SHPDA)

to stop Shelby Baptist Medical Center from doing open heart surgery has been denied.

&uot;Obviously we’re delighted,&uot; said Ross Mitchell, vice president of marketing, planning and government relations for the Baptist Health System.

&uot;This is a service that is needed in the area and something that should never have been in jeopardy,&uot; Mitchell said on Tuesday afternoon.

He said now that the motion to stay has been denied, Shelby Baptist will be able to continue to do open heart surgery and procedures during the appeal process by Brookwood.

Circuit Court Judge Benjamin A. Fuller ruled on July 13 that a denial of Shelby Baptist’s open heart application was due to be reversed.

He wrote in his final order, &uot;The court finds that the board acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner, abused its discretion and issued a ruling which was clearly erroneous in view of the substantial evidence on the whole record.&uot;

Following the order, SHPDA granted a certificate of need to Shelby Baptist to perform the surgery in Shelby County effective July 14.

SBMC performed its first open heart surgery Aug. 26 and many have followed since that time.

Brookwood filed a motion to stop the hospital from performing open heart surgery during its appeal process through the state court.

Brookwood argued, &uot;absent a stay, the operation of an open heart center at Shelby Baptist will dilute both the volume of open heart operations at existing open hart centers and the talent pool of health care providers engaged in the care and treatment of open heart surgery patients.