Shelby Baptist celebrates opening of South Tower

Published 4:23 pm Wednesday, November 18, 2009

There is a difference between being healed and being made whole again, Gary Fisher said as he read a passage from the Bible during the grand opening of Shelby Baptist Medical Center’s new South Tower.

“Health is not just healing the body. It’s much more than that,” said Fisher, Baptist Health System’s director of church-faith relations. “You have to touch their soul, and the only way to do that is through Christ.”

Shelby Baptist officials Nov. 18 said they hope to provide a higher level of faith-based patient care with the addition of the new five-story tower.

Hundreds of area residents, hospital employees and local and state officials gathered in the 167,712-square-foot new wing Nov. 18 to celebrate the grand opening of the largest single health care investment in Shelby County’s history.

The $92 million new wing will add 101 private patient rooms, a 370-space parking deck, emergency room support facilities and many other state-of-the-art additions to the hospital off U.S. 31 in Alabaster. The hospital will begin admitting patients to the South Tower Dec. 1.

“This (new wing) replaces 101 beds in the old part of the hospital. We will no longer have semi-private beds in operation,” said Shelby Baptist President David Wilson, drawing applause from the crowd.

“Just to give you a few fun facts, there are more than 3,450 feet of hallways, and more than 70,000 square feet of glass in the South Tower,” Wilson added.

The South Tower’s opening capped off $150 million worth of projects and investments completed at the hospital over the past four years, said Shane Spees, president and chief executive officer of the Baptist Health System.

“This is just the climax of the significant capital investment the Baptist Health System has made in Shelby County,” Spees said, noting Shelby Baptist recently added a new emergency department and several pieces of high-tech surgical and medical equipment.

“More than anything, this is about providing quality care to our patients,” Spees added. “We are accepting nothing less than excellence as our standard of care.”