Officials: Citizens have say on hospital
Mayor planning community meeting to discuss options
By Thomas Tingle
Record Managing Editor
With three hospital entities announcing its plans to build a full-service hospital in Madison, a representative of the Alabama Statewide Health Coordinating Council said Madison residents should decide which hospital should be built here.
Crestwood Medical Center, Huntsville Hospital and Doctor's Hospital of Madison have all announced its plans to build a 120-bed hospital in Madison. Those announcements has caused some confusion among residents in the city, prompting Mayor Jan Wells to form a Hospital Advisory Committee to seek answers and to decide if city action on the issue should be taken.
According to R. Parker Griffith of the ASHCC, Madison residents should choose which hospital entity should build in Madison and then take that decision to the state council for its approval.
"It will be Madison residents and not the state who will choose their health care provider," Griffith said.
Griffith is part of a sub-committee that will decide whether to award one of the three hospitals the 120 beds needed to build in the city.
The advisory committee will decide if city action should be taken and will gather information from the community and from those proposing to build a hospital in Madison. The committee is comprised of representatives from the medical and banking community and representatives from City Hall.
Mayor Wells said she plans to have a forum that will allow residents to ask questions with the committee designated as the gathering entity of information from all interested parties.
Griffith said whomever the city of Madison decides to choose is the one who will likely get the state's approval.
Huntsville Hospital plans to build a 120-bed hospital at its U.S. Highway 72 and Balch Road site where a medical office building is located and where a wellness center is now under construction.
Crestwood Hospital plans to bring a 120-bed full-service hospital to Madison and wants the State Health Plan to be amended that would allow 120 beds in Madison County.
Doctor's Hospital of Madison also announced it wants to build a 120-bed full-service hospital in the city.
All three have filed letters of intent to the state to build a hospital.
The committee will have the three hospitals to sign a letter of agreement to respect the decision made by Madison residents.
Mayor Wells said a second public meeting of the Hospital Advisory Committee will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, at City Hall. The guest speaker will be Alva M. Lambert, executive director of the State Health Planning and Development Agency. Mr. Lambert will provide an explanation of the process for attaining a hospital in Madison with the framework of the State of Alabama Health Plan Law.
Lambert will also discuss the steps necessary and timeline needed for Madison's consideration.