Tanner to Build New Hospital in Randolph County
Tanner Health System will move forward with plans to build a new hospital facility in Randolph County, Ala., after voters approved a referendum to support a 1 percent sales tax to finance the new hospital’s construction.
The referendum to build a new hospital in Randolph County received wide support among voters, with 86 percent of voters supporting the new hospital. The vote as of Tuesday night was 4,775 to 778 in favor of the 1 percent sales tax.
The new facility will replace the existing Wedowee Hospital, which has relied on financial support from Tanner during the past several years to cover its operating expenses. Wedowee Hospital has been hampered by a number of facility-related issues that have rendered it obsolete in terms of modern building codes for medical facilities and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Efforts to renovate the aging facility would be extensive and costly. Even then, the hospital’s location in downtown Wedowee limits it for future expansion. Parking at the site has also been an issue.
Wedowee Hospital has served as the county’s only hospital since Randolph Medical Center in Roanoke closed in 2011.
The new hospital will be a 49,000-square-foot, three-story modern hospital facility built on the Tanner/East Alabama campus, located along South Main Street in Wedowee. The hospital will provide 24-hour emergency care, critical care support, inpatient and observation beds, a state-of-the-art surgical suite and advanced diagnostic imaging services.
Locating the hospital in Wedowee provides a central, accessible location for Randolph County residents on a site that already has in place much of the infrastructure needed to support a modern medical facility.
“We’re proud to partner with the Randolph County community to keep a local hospital in the county and we’re grateful for their support,” said Loy Howard, president and CEO of Tanner Health System. “A local hospital is more than convenience — it’s jobs, it’s economic investment and it’s an assurance that timely care is available when a loved one needs it.”
The hospital will be the fifth in the Tanner system, joining the 201-bed acute care Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton, the 40-bed acute care Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica, the 25-bed critical access Higgins General Hospital in Bremen and the 82-bed inpatient behavioral health facility Willowbrooke at Tanner in Villa Rica.
While the one-cent sales tax will be used to pay for construction of the hospital, Tanner has agreed to cover the cost of furnishing and equipping the new facility, which will cost an estimated $6 million. The total cost of construction will depend on several factors, including final architectural designs.
The new hospital will enable Tanner to expand further into the east Alabama market, growing the health system’s surgical services, heart and cancer care programs, women’s health services and more.
The effort to build a replacement hospital in Wedowee has been years in the making, ultimately bolstered by support of residents and the volunteer support of Hearts for a Hospital, which organized to back the referendum.
“We’re grateful for the support of so many people who came together and turned out to support keeping a hospital in Randolph County,” said Howard. “We’re honored to have this opportunity to build something that will be so instrumental in this region’s future.”
Updates on the project’s construction will be kept on Tanner Health System’s Web site at www.tanner.org. To receive updates and health information via e-mail, sign up on www.tanner.org.
An architectural rendering of what the new hospital in Randolph County may look like. Randolph County voters approved a one-cent sales tax Tuesday to fund construction of the new facility, which will be outfitted and managed by Carrollton, Ga.-based Tanner Health System.
For Immediate Release
Aug. 5, 2015
Contact: Tony Montcalm