Twenty new beds approved at Shelby Baptist

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Alabama Health Planning and Development Agency has approved the addition of 20 beds from a Montgomery-based health care organization to Shelby Baptist Medical Center in Alabaster

Shelby Baptist will use the 20 new beds to add new services aimed at patients 65 and older.

The state Health Planning and Development Agency issued the certificate of need on March 9 approving the relocation of 20 psychiatric beds from the Montgomery-based Health Care Authority for Baptist Health to Shelby Baptist.

The Health Care Authority for Baptist Health is an affiliate of the UAB Health System.

Baptist Health System Vice President of Communications and Government Relations Ross Mitchell previously said the 20 new beds will be used to create a new geriatric psychiatric department on the first floor of the existing hospital.

The new offering would be the first of its kind in Shelby County, and would serve primarily patients 65 and older who are facing both medical issues and treatable psychiatric issues.

The hospital likely will spend about $1.3 million on initial investments for the project, including renovations to the existing hospital facility to house the new department, Mitchell said.

Mitchell previously sad the hospital is looking to open the new department by Jan. 1, 2013.