Brookwood Baptist Health’s Freestanding ER Critical Resource

Feb 1, 2016

Kate Darden, BHS Vice President, Marketing
(205) 715-5196
[email protected]

Ashley Fulmer, APR
(205) 322-5646 x 551
[email protected]

Brookwood Baptist Health’s freestanding ER emerges as critical healthcare resource
U.S. 280 facility delivering hospital-level care to busy corridor

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Feb. 01, 2016) – Kelly Riether’s son Sterling, a 21-year-old civil engineering student at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, was set to enjoy his holiday break at the family home in Chelsea when the throbbing ache started in his abdomen.

As the pain intensified on the morning of Dec. 21, Kelly realized her son needed urgent medical attention. She also realized that there was a new healthcare option in north Shelby County -- Brookwood Baptist Health’s freestanding emergency department, located at the intersection of U.S. 280 and Alabama 119.

They arrived at the facility just minutes later, around 8:30 a.m. Kelly was relieved to see Sterling receive immediate treatment from the ER staff, who promptly managed his escalating pain. After a CT scan, Sterling was diagnosed with appendicitis, then transported by the facility’s on-station ambulance to Brookwood’s main campus.

“It was the nicest ER experience I’ve ever had – and I have had a few,” Kelly recalls.

Sterling arrived at Brookwood around noon, and Kelly was surprised that all the necessary paperwork had been transmitted from the freestanding emergency department (FED). “It was seamless,” she says. Sterling was in surgery to remove his inflamed appendix by 2:30 p.m. that day. Soon, Kelly had him back home for what turned out to be a quick recovery.

Since Brookwood’s FED opened on November 30, 2015, the $19 million facility at 7131 Cahaba Valley Road has become a valuable healthcare resource on the busy U.S. 280 corridor, a traditionally underserved market. In its first two months, the around-the-clock facility has treated a wide range of cases, including:

  • The neighbors of an 86-year-old man brought him to the FED because of breathing difficulties. After tests, he was diagnosed with two or three blockages in his heart. He was put on a Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure, or BiPAP, machine to assist his breathing. He was then able to be transported to a hospital for open-heart surgery.
  • A 2-year-old boy took a tumble and hit his head, knocking him out. He was rushed to the FED, where a CT scan indicated a depressed minor skull fracture. His condition stabilized, he was transferred to a pediatric hospital for treatment.
  • A 54-year-old surgeon came to the FED after feeling ill. An examination revealed that one of the main vessels in his heart was totally blocked – a condition that is usually fatal. The FED team arranged for a catheterization lab to see him promptly, and he received a life-saving stent. He returned to work the next day.

“Our freestanding ER is living up to our goals of providing immediate access to a consistent level of high-quality medical care when time is of the essence,” said Chuck Stark, CEO of Brookwood Baptist Health. “The facility is staffed by Brookwood’s experienced ER team and boasts a robust level of capabilities to deliver on its mission.”

The 25,000-square-foot FED, located in the Hoover city limits in north Shelby County, offers 12 beds, including designated rooms for trauma, obstetrics and mental health. There’s also an outpatient diagnostic center that performs mammography, MRI, CT and X-ray scans, along with a pharmacy and a lab. It has a helipad and 24-hour on-site ambulance.

The FED is staffed by board-certified emergency physicians and experienced registered nurses. Specialty physicians are also available around the clock.

Brookwood’s parent company, Tenet Healthcare Corp., and Birmingham-based Baptist Health System announced plans in late 2014 to form a new organization combining Brookwood and Baptist’s four hospitals to create a new model of cost-efficient, innovative healthcare delivery. The central Alabama network has five hospitals – Brookwood and Princeton Baptist (Birmingham), Shelby Baptist (Alabaster), Walker Baptist (Jasper) and Citizens Baptist (Talladega).

About Baptist Health System
Baptist Health System, a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) corporation, provides healthcare services to communities in the greater Birmingham Alabama area through its equity ownership in a joint venture with Tenet Healthcare. As part of this joint venture, Baptist Health System appoints half of the joint venture's Board of Directors. Additionally, Baptist Health System provides administrative and other support to the Baptist Health Foundation. Baptist Health System is a ministry of the churches of the Birmingham Baptist Association whose representatives elect its Board of Trustees. It was founded in 1922 by a group of local Baptist congregations.

About Brookwood Baptist Health
Founded in 1973, Brookwood Baptist Health is one of the largest private hospitals in Alabama, and a leading provider of advanced medical care to the Homewood community and beyond. Brookwood’s medical staff is comprised of more than 900 privately practicing physicians and its workforce includes more than 2,500 employees and volunteers. Accredited by The Joint Commission, Brookwood Baptist Health is a full service acute care hospital, widely recognized for its cardiology, oncology, mental health and orthopedic program. For more information on Brookwood's services, visit or call (205) 877-8800.

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