Judge approves Brookwood emergency room on U.S. 280

Published 5:26 pm Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Brookwood Medical Center moved one step closer to building a freestanding emergency room at the intersection of U.S. 280 and Alabama 119 June 30.

The announcement came after administrative law judge James Wilson recommended the hospital move forward with building the emergency room, which would be the first of its kind in Alabama.

“We are really excited about it. This is something we have been working on for a long time,” said Stephen Preston, Brookwood Medical Center’s vice president of external affairs. “The judge’s order was a very strong recommendation.”

Wilson made the decision after reviewing more than 2,000 pages of testimony given by about 20 witnesses over a two-week period, according to a Brookwood press release.

In his recommendation, Wilson said the freestanding facility would “improve the care and quality of outcomes for heart attack victims and save lives.”

Brookwood officials will now present Wilson’s recommendation to a certificate of need board, which will decide if the hospital will be allowed to move forward with the project.

The certificate of need board is scheduled to review the hospital’s plans on July 21.

If the plan is approved, Brookwood will construct a $19 million, 19,598-square-foot emergency room.

The facility would feature 24-hour care, laboratory services, pharmacy and diagnostic services and several forms of health care, read the press release. The facility will also feature a helipad to assist with patient emergency air transfer.

Because there currently are no emergency room-level facilities in the North Shelby area, the new facility will fill a coverage gap along U.S. 280, according to Brookwood officials.

“This project has received tremendous support throughout the communities we serve,” Brookwood Chief Executive Officer Garry Gause wrote in a press release. “Our proposal presents a clear, cost-effective solution to a critical health care problem.”