Rehab hospital coming to Pelham

The Alabama Health Planning and Development Agency’s Certificate of Need board approved a plan for HealthSouth to build a new, 34-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Pelham during a July 18 meeting. HealthSouth officials said the hospital will be similar to this rendering. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

HealthSouth will move forward with building a new, 34-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Pelham after the Alabama Health Planning and Development Agency’s Certificate of Need board approved 17 of the project’s beds during a July 18 hearing.

HealthSouth already owns the additional 17 beds needed to fill out the 34-bed facility, but first must receive approval from the CON board to move those beds to Shelby County.

“We will proceed with construction of that 34-bed rehab hospital,” said HealthSouth spokesperson Casey Lassiter. Lassiter said HealthSouth will operate the Pelham hospital with 17 beds if the facility is completed before the CON board approves the additional 17 beds.

The new hospital will be constructed in a vacant field across Interstate 65 from the Colonial Pipeline tank farm in Pelham.

The CON board’s approval of the project came a little more than a month after administrative law judge James Ward issued an opinion to the board supporting the HealthSouth project over a 17-bed rehabilitation hospital project proposed by the Alabaster-based Shelby Ridge and Rehab Select.

Shelby Ridge was looking to build the 17-bed rehabilitation hospital next to its current building behind Shelby Baptist Medical Center.

Pelham Mayor Don Murphy, who traveled to the CON board’s hearing in Montgomery with a group from the Pelham Senior Center, said the project will bring a boost to the city’s development corridor along Shelby County 52 between Interstate 65 and Shelby County 11.

HealthSouth officials said the new hospital will serve inpatient rehabilitation patients in a wide geographic area, as the closest rehab hospital to Shelby County currently is HealthSouth’s Lakeshore Rehabilitation Hospital in Birmingham.

“We are excited that the Certificate of Need review board has approved our application and is allowing us to move forward with our plans to bring access to high-quality inpatient rehabilitation services to the residents of Shelby County,” read a HealthSouth statement issued after the hearing. “HealthSouth is happy to be one step closer to bringing inpatient rehabilitative services in a

hospital setting to Shelby County, Alabama’s fastest growing county and the surrounding area.”