County supports proposed Pelham hospital

Published 10:01 am Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Shelby County Commission filed a motion on May 13 in support of a proposed HealthSouth rehab hospital, pictured. (File)

The Shelby County Commission filed a motion on May 13 in support of a proposed HealthSouth rehab hospital, pictured. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Shelby County Commission has asked the Montgomery County Circuit Court to overturn its recent decision to support a proposed rehabilitation hospital in Alabaster over a proposed rehab hospital in Pelham.

In a motion filed May 13 by County Attorney Frank “Butch” Ellis, the Shelby County Commission claimed an order issued in late April by Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge William Shashy is “contrary to Alabama law and to the overwhelming weight of evidence supporting the (State Health Planning and Development Agency’s) actual findings.”

On April 29, Shashy issued an order supporting a 17-bed rehabilitation hospital proposed by Alabaster’s Shelby Ridge and Rehab Select over a 34-bed rehabilitation proposed for Pelham by HealthSouth.

The judge’s ruling came after Shelby Ridge appealed a 2012 state Certificate of Need Review Board decision to create 17 new beds to be used by HealthSouth to help fill its proposed 34-bed rehab hospital.

In its motion, the County Commission claimed Shashy’s order was “erroneous,” and claimed it will “deprive the citizens of Shelby County of much-needed inpatient rehabilitation services.”

If constructed, the proposed Shelby Ridge rehab hospital would be behind Shelby Baptist Medical Center in Alabaster on the company’s current campus. The HealthSouth rehab hospital is proposed for a currently vacant plot of land across Interstate 65 from the Colonial Pipeline tank farm in Pelham.

During a May 13 Shelby County Commission meeting, county officials voiced support for the HealthSouth project, claiming it will provide an economic boost and will provide better access to rehab services for local residents.

“We believe the HealthSouth rehabilitation project, as planned, is the most viable one,” said Shelby County Manager Alex Dudchock.

In its motion, the county also claimed the HealthSouth project will “allow for better service and opportunity for expansion,” and claimed local support for the HealthSouth project is “widespread and unanimous.”

Shelby Ridge and Rehab Select owner Chris Schmidt previously claimed his proposed hospital will provide “continuity of care for the patients needing multiple levels of treatment, and will greatly benefit the residents of Shelby County.”