Photo by Katie Turpen
For many residents of South Shades Crest Road and the surrounding areas, the closest emergency room is about 10 miles away.
However, those families will be feeling safer by the spring of 2015. Today, the city of Hoover broke ground on the UAB Medical West Freestanding Emergency Department across from the Grove Shopping Center on Alabama Highway 150. Medical West is an affiliate of the UAB Health System and this project will be the first freestanding emergency department in the state of Alabama.
"Last year, our fire department received 6,600 medical calls," Hoover Executive Director Allen Pate said. "We are the only city in the state with a population over 60,000 that does not have a hospital. This area is surrounded by schools. We never know what's going to happen, so we are very glad this emergency facility is going to be here."
UAB Medical West CEO Keith Pennington previously defined the proposed medical facility as a level-3 trauma center, the same designation as other area ERs. As a level-3 center, it will have resources for emergency resuscitation and surgery but will be supported by a transfer agreement with a level 1 trauma center. The facility will also have the means to receive and send patients by helicopter.
"We started this project in 2010 and we chose this site mainly because of its convenience to I-459," Pennington said. "We are planning to be in it by the spring of 2015."
"I believe this area of Hoover is where the future lies," said UAB Health System CEO Dr. William Ferniany. "We are very excited."