Chilton County Medical Center could reopen - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Chilton County Medical Center could reopen

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CHILTON COUNTY - AL -

"This closing has affected this county in more ways than people will ever know," Southern Care Hospice worker, Robyn Cobb said.

It's affecting hospice care.

"Now, our patients have to travel 30-to-40 miles in a different direction," Cobb said.

It's affecting schools.

"It is a concern because it's not available if we need it," Chrysta Russell said.

In short, the closing of the Chilton County Medical Center is affecting a lot of people.

Russell is the school nurse for the county. She says, though it's rare, students do sometimes need medical attention with anything from asthma attacks, to seizures and bad cases of diabetes.

Now, with the closest hospitals being 30 miles away, she says it's a concern.

"The thing that I think would be a concern if we had a true emergency that [students] needed to get to a facility quickly," Russell said.

But the medical center might be back up and running before you know it.

"There is a commitment from this community to make sure that Chilton Medical Center stays open," CEO Ted Chapin said.

Chapin soon plans to surrender the business's license to operate.

"That buys us time to find a [potential buyer] for the hospital to come in and take over," he said.

He's hopeful someone will buy the medical center. After that, he wants to work with the State Department of Public Health to have a plan to continue business.

He says the negotiations are critical to reopen the doors.

"Help negotiate a deal so that we can get the doors back open and be able to provide healthcare to the citizens of Chilton County," Chapin said.

Chapin says he has until December 21 to surrender the license. He says he plans to do that soon, to go ahead and put the wheels in motion for a potential new owner.

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