What’s the future of Cooper Green Mercy Hospital?

Published: Feb. 20, 2019 at 10:38 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The Jefferson County Commission is taking steps to get out of the healthcare business, and that could mean a healthcare authority for Cooper Green Mercy Hospital.

The commission is in talks with UAB Health Systems to run the healthcare authority. This would mean UAB Health Systems would oversee the day-to-day operations of Cooper Green. It also means those current employees would fall under that healthcare system.

The authority would include three commissioners and four doctors from UAB. The focus would be the quality of care of indigent patients, funding for that care and Cooper Green employees.

Commissioner Sheila Tyson agrees there needs to be a hospital authority in place, but she’s concerned key people have been left out of this conversation.

"No. 1, I want it in writing that the employees that work here will be guaranteed to keep their jobs, if they are good workers,” said Tyson.

She said Cooper Green employees and patients are missing from the table. To make sure everyone is in the loop, she’s holding a town hall meeting on Monday to catch everyone up.

"They need to get opinions from the employees, they need their voices heard and the citizens who are being seen by the doctors. They should also have an opportunity for their voices to be heard. They are the patients,” Tyson said.

Commission President Jimmie Stephens said the commission wants quality healthcare for indigent patients, and if UAB is a better fit to do that it’s something they need to consider.

Commissioner Tyson’s town hall is Monday at Lawson State Community College in the Perry Ward Technology building in the technology theater from 6 to p.m.

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