HealthSouth looking to bring rehab hospital to Shelby County

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

HealthSouth will file a certificate of need application with the state March 30 to bring an inpatient rehabilitation hospital to the Interstate 65 corridor.

According to a HealthSouth press release, the proposed hospital would provide an array of inpatient rehabilitative services and would include 34 inpatient rehab beds. Of those beds, 17 would be new and 17 would be transferred from the former Carraway Medical Center in Birmingham.

The project could bring as many as 120 full- and part-time jobs to the area if approved, the press release stated. The projected total cost for the project is about $17 million.

In a phone interview, Linda Wilder, president of HealthSouth’s southeast region, said the hospital would treat patients with complex physical problems, such as multiple traumas resulting from a car accident.

“These patients have already been to a traditional hospital for the most part, and then they come to us,” she said. “They are focused on physical restoration and physical rehabilitation.”

Wilder said HealthSouth is looking at possibly building in Pelham or Alabaster, in order to be close to Interstate 65 and offer easy access for Shelby County and Chilton County residents.

If the state Certificate of Need Board approves the application, it will take 20-24 months to build the hospital, Wilder said.

She said HealthSouth is optimistic the board will see the need for a rehabilitation hospital.

“The type of services we provide are very different than an acute care hospital. There’s clearly a need for these services in that area,” Wilder said. “We think there may be some discussion and debate, but we think ultimately, the need for this hospital level of care will be a convincing argument.”