Cooper Green fight continues

Jefferson County commissioner Sandra Little Brown promised a fight over the proposed closing of Cooper Green Mercy hospital's inpatient care within 30 days.

Brown, along with pastors and other politicians gathered on the steps of the Jefferson County Courthouse. They called for a massive protest on these same step Monday morning.

"Cooper Green definitely needs to stay open, you do not need to keep biting off of it and chipping off of it, taking away the inpatient care," says Brown.

Cooper Green Mercy is never even close to being at full capacity. It has 180 licensed beds. The typical inpatient number at Cooper Green Mercy is 35.

Jefferson County manager Tony Petelos says the closing of the inpatient portion of the hospital could also force the shutdown of the emergency room, due to state law.{}{}{}{}

"The state health plan does not allow for a free standing emergency room. So if we don't have inpatient care, we will also have to shut down the emergency room," Petelos says.Right now, Petelos says they're still trying to determine which positions face cuts with the elimination of inpatient services. "We're working that (Wednesday), tomorrow and Friday. Hopefully by the commission meeting day we will have information to be able to give the commissioners," says Petelos.

A vote is expected Tuesday, August 14 to finalize whether the commission will move forward with this proposed plan.