Pickens County one step closer to getting only hospital reopened

Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 5:17 PM CDT
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PICKENS COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) -After being closed for two years, the Pickens County Medical Center could be a step closer to reopening, but not as a traditional hospital.

Carrolton Mayor Mickey Walker and a few other community leaders met with state officials including the governor’s deputy chief of staff. Mayor Walker described the meeting as productive and he’s more optimistic than ever the Pickens County Medical Center will reopen.

The hospital closed in March 2020 due to cuts in Medicare and Medicaid which eliminated 100 jobs.

Walker says there is no doubt all of Pickens County is behind him, leading the charge to get the medical center reopened. The mayor held three thick manilla envelopes containing thousands of names of petitioners, people like Jerica Jones.

“Because we need it. It’s not something we want. We need it,” said Jones.

“Here in my hand is the petition of 10,950 signatures of residents in Pickens County showing their support for the hospital,” said Walker.

With those signatures in hand, Walker said state leaders, including the governor’s office, are convinced the people want this. The process includes justifying the idea of reopening it and the 20 million it will take to make it happen. the idea is to reopen the hospital as a mental health facility for adolescents.

“The reason behind the remodification for a child adolescent type ward is about $9 to $10 million dollars to get the facility up and another $10 million for operating funds to run the facility until the funding starts coming in off patients,” said Walker.

Mayor Walker says the money would come from the American Rescue Plan.

“It will likely be March before they release the funding,” Walker said before adding that it would be a year or so before the medical center reopens.

“It’s a lengthy process,” said Walker. “The people will need to be patient with us. We’re working diligently on it.”

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