Commissioners committed to new course for Cooper Green - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Commissioners committed to new course for Cooper Green

Cooper Green Mercy Hospital. Source: WBRC Cooper Green Mercy Hospital. Source: WBRC

Jefferson County Commissioners are not jumping for joy with Governor Robert Bentley saying he wants to get involved in the debate over the future of Cooper Green Mercy Hospital.

In Hoover, Bentley said he wanted to see the hospital for the poor stay open and to keep inpatient care. Thursday, county commissioners say they respected the governor but, "That train has left the station. We already agreed to on a strategic model and we are implementing that model," David Carrington, Jefferson County Commissioner said.

Carrington and other Jefferson County Commissioners say they are committed to a new course of action for the hospital.

"For two years we have been having crisis after crisis and we have been pretty much left to fend for ourselves. We dealt with every crisis that has arisen," Joe Knight, Jefferson County Commissioner, said.

A majority of the commission voted to end inpatient care and to turn the hospital into a primary care and outpatient operation.

Meanwhile Thursday, a Cooper Green official announced plans to turn $40 million dollars from the indigent care fund to support a health insurance program for the poor and continue inpatient care.

"As long as the county remains in the provider arena anything less than acute care hospital supported by specialty care services would be inadequate," Darrly Webb, Director of Customer Service and Health Plans Cooper Green Mercy Hospital, said.

The Reverend Franklin Tate, a community activist who supports Webb's plan, says he would support closing the hospital if the insurance program is adopted or one one other condition.

"If the commissioner who oppose keeping Cooper Green open are willing to give up their own health insurance for themselves and their families and join the rank and file of the poor and uninsured of Jefferson County," Tate said.

Commissioners say they voted for a plan for Cooper Green they plan to keep. Along with their health insurance.

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