HARTSELLE, Ala. - Their hospital closed years ago. Now, a new clinic is coming to Hartselle. The sign bills it as a city of Southern hospitality, but right now, many neighbors in Hartselle take a drive to see a doctor.
"We see about a thousand patients a month," Cullman Regional vice president of marketing Lindsey Dossey said.
Over the past year, Cullman Regional health leaders have been in contact with the city.
"I knew what they wanted and kind of what they were looking for," Hartselle mayor Randy Garrison said.
What Cullman Regional leaders found was a four-acre lot along US-31.
"We closed on the property back in June. So, we're excited to grow into the Hartselle community," Dossey said.
Cullman Regional leaders have plans to turn the site into an urgent care clinic.
"It'll be an urgent care facility, an outpatient imaging center, we'll also have a specialty clinic, so we'll be rotating specialists into the community," Dossey said.
As of now, Cullman Regional leaders haven't broken ground on the new site. And it may be a scramble to do that by the end of 2019. It's also unclear how much it'll cost to build the new urgent care center. Still, mayor Randy Garrison says he's optimistic by what these plans hold for the future of health care in Hartselle.
"There'll be a CT, 3-D mammograms, general X-ray, an ultrasound all available in the community," Dossey said.
"Hopefully it'll happen by the middle of next year, I don't have a timeline," Garrison said.
As he anticipates the new clinic, Garrison and Hartselle city leaders have been stuck with the former Hartselle hospital, which closed seven years ago.
"What we're basically looking for is some funding to help remove the building," Garrison said.
Garrison says they're sending in the paperwork to ADEM, in hopes of getting it designated as a Brownfield site.
"I think it's just sat empty for so long that it's just cost-prohibitive," Dossey said.
Cullman Regional leaders have to approve the final design before construction begins. It's unclear yet if the new clinic will be open by this time next year. The former Hartselle hospital is owned by Huntsville Hospital.
Garrison says he expects it could cost around $1.5 million to tear down the old hospital.