Alabaster hospital reaches agreement on heart program

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 6, 2006

From Staff Reports

The battle to provide open-heart services at Shelby Baptist Medical Center is apparently over.

An agreement has been reached to allow Baptist Health System to continue providing open-heart services at the Alabaster hospital.

Tenet Healthcare, the parent company of Brookwood Medical Center, has agreed to withdraw its opposition to the one-year-old open-heart program at Baptist Shelby, according to a BHS intra-company e-mail shared with the Shelby County Reporter Friday afternoon.

In turn, BHS will withdraw its opposition to a $54 million modernization and expansion project at Brookwood as part of the agreement, according to the e-mail.

Brookwood had opposed Baptist Shelby’s open-heart program since it first applied for a certificate of need, which the hospital was originally granted from the State Health Planning and Development Agency in 2004.

The battle between the two hospitals heated up when the state Court of Civil Appeals ruled in favor of Brookwood.

Baptist Shelby responded with an intense advertising campaign including prime time television commercials and full-page newspaper ads stressing the importance of an open-heart program at the Shelby County hospital.

&uot;Baptist’s 84-year healthcare ministry has always been – and will continue to be – responsive to the needs of those we serve,&uot; the e-mail reads. &uot;Our heart program at Shelby Baptist – established to meet the needs of rapidly growing communities in Shelby, Bibb and Chilton counties – is just one example of that commitment. Those communities have been overwhelmingly supportive of our efforts and we are pleased that we will continue meeting the heart care needs of those who choose Shelby Baptist for heart care.&uot;

Check the Shelby County Reporter’s Wednesday print edition for continued coverage of open-heart services at Baptist Shelby