APRIL RICHEY/THE GREENVILLE STANDARD
“We want everybody to know that these decisions that we have been working on and hopefully are about to make some final decisions on, is basically that we care about our community and we feel like this project or this situation, that was actually dumped in our lap a year ago, is extremely important,” stated Greenville Mayor Dextor McLendon in his on air announcement Friday morning on Q94 with Kyle and Dave. According to the mayor, there are two things economic people look at when they come here; they ask about the public school system and the hospital.
The mayor, in a shocking announcement, stated that the City of Greenville is in negotiations to purchase L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital. The hospital was purchased by Quorum Health in 2016 as a spinoff company of Community Health Systems.
“Here is what I’m telling you, we have been talking and in negotiations for some time now for a system to be set up. When I say that, you set up an authority like channel, like an industrial board, and you set this board up (this authority) and that is the purchasing of the hospital to be owned basically by the authority through the City of Greenville.
“This is not something we were wanting to do, I believe in less government, I believe that most of the time government does not need to own a hospital, that’s Dexter’s belief, but at the same time we have to have a hospital and according to the attorney this is the way to do it, and you do not have the City of Greenville running the hospital, or you do not have government running the hospital.
“And I hope, and our plan and who we been talking to, this would become, and this is the grand slam in my opinion, we would not be doing this if it wasn’t for this organization, and we would not be doing this if this organization and the state of Alabama had not worked out something a few years ago with some legislation to help UAB help rural areas,” stated Mayor McLendon.
We will have to find a way to pay for this, was the answer given by Mayor McLendon when asked about where the money was coming from to purchase the hospital. He stated that he did not have all the details and they were still in negotiations, and had not finalized everything. The mayor was not at liberty to say how much this would cost or where the money would come from to pay for the purchase. However he did mention that the name could possibly change from L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital to UAB, and there are no talks of job cuts or re-staffing at this time, if the intent is signed and UAB does step in to help. It could mean updated equipment, for example, someone could be in CCU and be monitored by a doctor in Birmingham in real time.
“The bottom line is that we have an opportunity and we consider it a grand slam, to have UAB be part of our health care community. What does that mean? Everything! It means exactly what you would think. This is like you would get Nick Saban to coach a football team if you want to win a National Championship. I mean, it is what it is. And I don’t think it gets any better than UAB,” said Mayor McLendon.
Mayor McLendon will be back on the air to announce the finalized contract, and answer more in depth questions as soon as the intent is signed, which could be as early as next week. A press release will be sent out by Quorum Health, but the mayor plans to keep the locals informed through social media and media outlets like the radio and newspapers.