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Hoover seeks state approval for new medical center

The city of Hoover filed a certificate of need application for a new ambulatory surgery center and diagnostic facility, an investment that supporters say will help cut costs, increase convenience and improve health safety within the community.

Signed and filed on Jan. 11, the CON application will now go before the state review board for consideration, as do many proposed health care facility expansions or establishments in Alabama.

If ultimately approved, the new medical center and mixed-use development will be constructed on a 90-acre tract near Riverchase Parkway, and will include 450,000 square feet of existing corporate offices. The center would provide a range of services, including diagnostics, same-day surgical care and preventative procedures.

Hoover city officials announce the certificate of need application for the new medical center.

In a statement, Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato championed the application, and noted not only the health benefits such a facility could have on his community, but the significant economic impact.

“As the sixth largest city in the state, Hoover is home to nearly 100,000 residents, however, we don’t have a strong medical presence; that changes today,” Brocato said.

“We talked with residents to get their input, we researched the various directions in which the health care industry is moving, and we commissioned a study that helped us determine the specific specialties we need in Hoover. No doubt, this ambulatory surgical center will have a tremendous impact on the Hoover economy.”

According to the Hoover Health Care Authority, the project is estimated to cost $400 million, with construction expected to be complete by the end of 2026. The project will also see the construction of single and multifamily units, a 135-room hotel, and 32,000 square feet of retail space.

In return, construction on the project is projected to impact the region’s economy to the tune of $484 million, and create 3,572 jobs. Once in operation, the project is expected to yield an average annual economic impact of $199 million, and create an additional 1,000 jobs.

Beyond creating a new medical facility, the project is also expected to improve public safety by freeing up space for patients with more urgent medical needs than diagnostics or elective surgeries.

“From a public safety perspective and from a fire department agency that provides emergency medical transport services for our community, this center and campus will give patients all over our state an option for routine surgeries and procedures that do not necessarily require overnight stays,” said Hoover Fire Chief Clay Bentley. 

“This, in turn, could potentially free up hospital beds and rooms for more emergency patients at our large receiving hospitals. This would allow faster care for the patients that EMS agencies transport to main hospitals for definitive care. This comprehensive ambulatory campus will directly improve EMS services in the Birmingham/Hoover Metro area by reducing out of service times for our transport units.”

Ellouise Cotton-Johnson, a Hoover resident and retired doctor with more than 20 years of experience, said that the surgical center in particular will help improve patient safety due to its more selective services offered.

“Let’s face it – people in hospitals are sick, that’s why they’re there; people who are having elective procedures are not sick,” Cotton-Johnson said. 

“They’re staying well, they’re doing what they need to do, and they don’t need that exposure and risk of potential infections. In an ambulatory surgery center, in an outpatient setting, that risk is not there because these people aren’t sick. So, this is going to help them want to comply and it will help make the doctor’s battle a little bit easier to help them be the compliant patient they want them to be.”

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