The Health Care Authority of Cullman County/ Cullman Regional Board of Directors announced today that the Alabama State Health Planning & Development Agency has approved the Certificate of Need (CON) for the $30 million expansion project announced by Cullman Regional in June of 2019. The expansion will increase the capacity of the Critical Care Unit (ICU) by 50 percent; increase the capacity of the Emergency Department by 50 percent; and reduce the usage of semi-private rooms throughout the facility.
"We appreciate the Alabama Certificate of Need Board for their support of this project," Board Chair Beth Anderson said. "Cullman Regional continues to see a growing number of patients through the Emergency Department. Last year, the ER provided care for nearly 50,000 patients in a facility built to care for 40,000 annually. Many of these patients are sicker and require a higher-level of care which is provided best in our critical care unit (ICU). Therefore, we need a solution that allows more critically-ill patients access to critical care beds more quickly."
The expansion plans include:
- Increase the number of Critical Care Beds (CCU) from 12 to 18.
- Expand the current Emergency Room Facility from 21 exam rooms and 3 behavioral health treatment rooms to 30 exam rooms and 8 behavioral health treatment rooms.
- Create an Outpatient Behavioral Health Program.
- Hospital-wide infrastructure upgrades to accommodate the additional capacity.
"These upgrades are necessary in order for us to provide effective care for all our patients," Cullman Regional CEO James Clements said. "Particularly the need for more effective treatment options for our behavioral health patients. We are eager to find a solution that provides long-term, sustainable care to them."
The infrastructure upgrade will include the expansion of the onsite power plant by approximately 1,100 square feet, replacement of the cooling towers, addition of two new chillers, addition of new elevator controls and modification of the remaining two service elevators to allow them to access all levels of the hospital.
The board facilities committee anticipates construction will begin in the third quarter of 2020. Phase one of construction will include the expansion of the Emergency Department. Phase two will include infrastructure improvements and Phase three will be the addition of the critical care beds which will be a ground floor to fourth floor expansion of the west units of the current facility.