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Hospital hearing to be held Dec. 4

By By Thomas Tingle
Record Managing Editor
An additional 120 hospital beds in Madison County could be approved in Montgomery as early as next week.
Crestwood Hospital officials have received word that members of the Statewide Health Coordinating Council will meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, to decide on whether or not to approve Crestwood's request to get an additional 120 beds allotted in Madison County. The approval would allow Crestwood to move forward with its plans to build a full-service hospital in Madison.
According to Lori Light, director of marketing and public relations for Crestwood Hospital, Crestwood has been waiting for a decision by the council on its formal request to adjust the State Health Plan that will allow the additional beds in Madison County. She said Crestwood officials will be ready to go to Montgomery to make their plea to get the request approved. It is the second time a meeting of the council was set to review the request. The first meeting was cancelled.
Since then, Crestwood Hospital CEO Brad Jones has met several times with Madison's Hospital Advisory Committee, along with Huntsville Hospital CEO Joe Austin, to explain their plans to build a full-service medical facility here. While both plans differ as to the actual size of the hospital, both Jones and Austin have said there is a need for a full service facility and both would include a 24-hour emergency room department.
Jones said based on information they've gathered, within the next five years, a 120-bed hospital in Madison will be fully utilized. He said that is why it makes sense to build a facility that size now.
Austin said Huntsville Hospital is committed to building a full service hospital in Madison and will include the appropriate number of beds based on need. Austin said a 120-bed hospital in Madison is not necessary at this time.
Members of the hospital advisory committee have been reviewing the plans presented to them by Austin and Jones.

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