ER facility approval a win-win

Published 11:25 am Tuesday, October 22, 2013

It only took about 10 years, but U.S. 280 and citizens in north Shelby County can finally look forward to having emergency medical services available close by.

Ten years after Brookwood Medical Center officials began conversing with leaders of communities along the U.S. 280, and about five years after Brookwood applied for a Certificate of Need to open a freestanding emergency room in Shelby County, the Alabama Supreme Court rejected the final legal challenge to the freestanding ER facility on Oct. 11.

Brookwood spokesperson Stephen Preston said construction on the facility will move forward as soon as possible, and the freestanding ER should be open by the end of 2014.

Just as we were pleased that Trinity Medical Center will open Grandview Medical Center in the former HealthSouth facility on U.S. 280, thereby giving North Shelby residents easy access to a full-service hospital, we are tremendously pleased that Brookwood will open a freestanding ER in north Shelby County. The facility will meet a major need that has been present in the community for years now, especially as traffic congestion has been steadily rising.

The ER will be close to a major intersection at U.S. 280 and Alabama 119, and will be easy to access for residents all the way down the U.S. 280 corridor. Finally, residents in Vincent, Harpersville, Chelsea, North Shelby, Indian Springs, Hoover and other localities will have a place to go when medical care is desperately needed, without having to fret as much about possible problems with traffic.

Unfortunately, U.S. 280’s traffic congestion is a problem that we’re a long way away from solving, but with an emergency room and a full-service hospital mere miles away from each other on U.S. 280, hopefully rush hour won’t be quite so fraught with danger for those who need medical care.

We congratulate Brookwood officials on getting past all the legal hurdles and moving forward with the freestanding ER project. It will be a business boon for Brookwood Medical Center and an important lifestyle improvement for those who live and work on U.S. 280 — and, to us, that’s the definition of a win-win.

The We Say is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.