Ascension St. Vincent’s files plan for multi-purpose hospital in Pelham

Published 4:07 pm Wednesday, May 18, 2022

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Ascension St. Vincent’s has asked for state approval to build an ambulatory center to include a freestanding emergency department, primary care and multispecialty space in Pelham.

According to a press release, the project is designed to meet the growing need for healthcare services in the local community.

The site for the new facility is conveniently located off Interstate 65 at exit 242, more commonly known as the “tank farm” exit. In addition to emergency services, the two-story building will provide space for Ascension St. Vincent’s and UAB Medicine to offer patients access to primary and specialty care services at the Pelham facility.

“This location is in a highly-populated area, which can create issues for residents needing to get to acute care medical facilities in other parts of the metropolitan area,” said Jason Alexander, CEO at Ascension St. Vincent’s. “Making sure people can access healthcare is always important, but making sure everyone can get help during a medical emergency is especially critical. Our facility will meet that need not only for those who live in the area but also for many others who travel I-65.”

The new Freestanding Emergency Department must be approved through the state of Alabama’s Certificate of Need program which takes into account the need for healthcare services as well as support from the local community. To that end, more than 40 leaders submitted letters of support for the Ascension St. Vincent’s Freestanding Emergency Department in Pelham.

“We all want our citizens to receive the best possible care at convenient locations,” said Pelham Mayor Gary W. Waters, who is among those supporting the new Freestanding Emergency Department. “As a retired fire chief, I know there are times when minutes count and a facility like this could make the difference between life or death. We appreciate Ascension St. Vincent’s service to our citizens when they are most in need of help.”

In addition to the considerable local support for the Freestanding Emergency Department, Ascension St. Vincent’s has received substantial support from UAB Medicine.

“Since 2020, UAB Medicine has worked closely with Ascension St. Vincent’s in an alliance to deliver high-quality care to the patients of this area, bringing together the best in community and academic medicine to meet the healthcare needs of our state,” said Selwyn Vickers, MD, dean of the Heersink School of Medicine and CEO of UAB Health System. “This facility will provide accessible, high-quality emergency care to people in the area.”

Alexander said the Pelham project demonstrates the value of the alliance between Ascension St. Vincent’s and UAB Medicine in improving services throughout the greater Birmingham area. He said he is grateful for the outpouring of support from the surrounding community.

“There has been an overwhelming response from the community, and we are humbled and honored that so many leaders support our efforts to improve services in this area of Shelby County,” Alexander said. “We are eager to complete the Certificate of Need process and begin constructing a new Freestanding Emergency Department to serve the needs of this community.”