SBMC sees increase after Chilton closure
By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor
Shelby Baptist Medical Center officials said they have seen an increase in the number of patients since the Chilton Medical Center closed its doors on Oct. 29, but were hesitant to attribute the increase to the closure.
“We’ve seen an increase in volume this week. It’s been very busy,” SBMC Director of Business Development April Weaver said on Nov. 2. “But I can’t say for sure that it’s related to the closure of Chilton Medical Center. It’s only been closed for five days now, so it’s too early to tell.”
The Alabama Department of Public Health ordered the Chilton Medical Center to close on Oct. 29 after DPH officials said the hospital was unable to fulfill its payroll obligations.
State Health Officer Dr. Don Williamson suspended Chilton Medical Center’s license through an emergency order, marking the first time Williamson had done so in his 20-year tenure.
The hospital employed about 150 at the time of the closure, according to a story published by The Clanton Advertiser.
Weaver said Chilton County was part of SBMC’s primary service area even before the Chilton Medical Center closed, and said the hospital has already built relationships with physicians in Chilton County.
“I know it’s a very difficult time for the people of Chilton County, and we want to support them,” Weaver said.