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First look: ER among new healthcare facilities set to open in Gardendale

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Healthcare options are expanding in North Jefferson County.

UAB plans to open a 24 hour emergency room in Gardendale in January. The facility will have an adjacent medical office with primary and specialty care.

UAB says there's a tremendous need in Gardendale and along the I-65 corridor in the north part of Jefferson County for emergency medical care. There is no emergency room between Cullman and downtown Birmingham, which is a 50 mile stretch.

That will change in January, when the new facility opens.

“It’s the same type trauma care you can receive at all the hospitals downtown with the exception of UAB because they’re the only level one trauma,” explained Gardendale Mayor Stan Hogeland.

The new emergency room will feature a heliport, imaging machines, lab services, 12 exam rooms and a pharmacy, among other amenities.

Kelley Shaw Smith's lived in Gardendale 45 years.

“That’s going to be awesome especially since they’re going to be closing down the interstates downtown,” said Smith. “It’s going to be a lot easier, we can do everything here.”

Gardendale Mayor Stan Hogeland knows time matters in emergencies.

“Here in the northern sector, that puts you 15 to 20 minutes closer to immediate, urgent care and I really think there’s going to be a lot of lives saved out of that building,” he said.

Adjacent to the ER, you’ll find a nearly 40,000 square foot UAB medical office building with primary care, obstetrics, cardiology, urology and dermatology.

And not far away, Brookwood is working on a new medical office building, which will house six primary care providers and one specialist. It is tentatively set to open in early February.

Hogeland wants Birmingham’s booming medical industry to keep stretching into his growing city.

“We’re a bedroom community, so the majority of our people leave, go to work in Birmingham and come back,” said Hogeland. “So, that hurts us in the daytime but this will help us to grow those numbers and attract some of the retail and restaurants we’re working on.”

The two new UAB facilities are expected to employ more than 100 people.

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