Board to vote on Hartselle Health Park ER April 19
Plans are still in motion for Cullman Regional to establish north Alabama’s first freestanding emergency department, and the eighth in the state, at Hartselle Health Park – and Alabama’s Certificate of Need Board will soon vote on whether the project can move forward.
According to Cullman Regional spokeswoman Jennifer Malone, the board has been reviewing the application and is set to vote at its regular meeting April 19.
“If the board grants its approval, Cullman Regional will be able to move forward with construction,” Malone said. “Community support is a key factor in the board’s decision. The Hartselle community has already demonstrated tremendous support for this project and for that we’re thankful.”
The company initiated the approval process by submitting a letter of intent in October 2022 to the board.
Malone previously said the company acquired nine acres at 1790 U.S. 31 N. — directly across from the existing health park — as the site for a planned medical office.
If approved, the Hartselle Health Park Emergency Department will be about 12,500 square feet at completion. Total construction cost is estimated to be between $6 million and $8.5 million, Malone said.
Closed by the Huntsville Hospital Health System in 2012, the city’s only hospital was demolished last year.
Dr. Bill Smith, Cullman Regional chief medical officer, said a freestanding ER is no different from a hospital ER. It will give the health park the ability to provide services that are unavailable with an urgent-care operation.
“It’s just like if you took the ER at Cullman Regional and moved it to Hartselle,” Smith said. “We will treat all of the conditions that are treated in the emergency department, like heart attacks and strokes. Many times, medicines are given to patients to solve blood clots immediately.”
Smith said the new, “fully functioning” emergency room will have diagnostic machines like CAT scans and MRIs.
If a person comes into the emergency room and requires a hospital stay, Smith said the person will be treated, stabilized and transferred to an area hospital. An ambulance bay and a heliport for a medical helicopter to land will be added.
Smith said patients with some conditions could be treated in Cullman or at Decatur Morgan Hospital. Patients with conditions that require specialized care could be sent to facilities like UAB or Huntsville, he said.
Smith said the good thing about a local emergency department is they could treat a patient and often the patient won’t have to travel to a hospital.
Bayne Hughes contributed to this report.