Shelby Ridge looking to build $4.5 million rehab hospital

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Alabaster’s Shelby Ridge Nursing Home and Rehab Select is looking to build a new $4.5 million, 17-bed inpatient rehabilitation facility next to its current building behind Shelby Baptist Medical Center.

Shelby Ridge owner Chris Schmidt said he and other Shelby Ridge officials recently submitted the plan to the state’s Certificate of Need board, which will review the proposal before either accepting or denying the project.

In early September, the Alabama Statewide Health Coordinating Council approved the transfer of 17 rehab beds from Jefferson County to Shelby County. After the bed transfers were approved, Shelby Ridge and HealthSouth each submitted plans to construct inpatient rehabilitation hospitals.

“After they approved the transfer of beds, it was open to anyone who wanted to build a rehab hospital,” Schmidt said. “HealthSouth wants to build a 34-bed rehab hospital, because they also have 17 beds from a previous project. The two of us are the only ones competing for the project.”

If the project is granted, the new Shelby Ridge facility would be constructed next to the company’s nursing home and non-acute rehabilitation facility on Third Street Northeast, Schmidt said.

The company’s existing facilities can serve 131 patients, and currently employ 224 people, Schmidt said. If the new rehab hospital is constructed, it would be the first inpatient acute rehabilitation hospital in Shelby County, and would create about 75 new jobs.

The new hospital would allow the company to serve a wider range of rehab patients, add more equipment and employ specialists. Schmidt said he and his mother, Patti Wallace, have several decades worth of rehabilitation experience.

“It will provide a lot of continuity for our patients, because they could be easily transferred from a non-acute facility to an acute facility without having to be loaded into an ambulance,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said he was not sure when the Certificate of Need board will make a decision on the matter.

“We already have excellent results at our current facility, and we want to add to that,” Schmidt said. “This new hospital will compliment and expand on what we already do in Shelby County.”