MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — After nearly six months of planning and advocating, Cullman Regional’s application to build a freestanding emergency department in Hartselle was approved by the state.

The freestanding ER will be located at Hartselle Health Park, which opened in 2021. In the last year, they’ve seen nearly 14,000 patients through the urgent care clinic, diagnostic imaging center and two physician clinics. 

The nearly 18,000-square-foot facility will be open 24/7, just like a hospital-based emergency department, along with a staff of board-certified emergency medicine physicians capable of caring for patients in critical medical conditions. There will also be on-site imaging including MRI and CT, as well as lab and pharmacy services. The ER will also have a helipad, along with an ambulance bay.

In Alabama, hospitals need approval from state officials to build or add certain healthcare services. 

The state’s approval puts an estimated 12-month construction phase to complete the new healthcare facility, serving Hartselle and south Morgan County communities.

“Freestanding emergency departments are especially important for communities without a
hospital,” Dr. Bill Smith, chief medical officer at Cullman Regional said in a statement. “This project means Hartselle residents will not have to leave their community for life-saving emergency services.”

“We’re proud to serve the Hartselle area and are grateful for the tremendous community support shown for this project,” Cullman Regional CEO James Clements said in a statement.

There are several other freestanding emergency departments in Alabama including in Mobile,
Auburn and the Birmingham area, but this one is the first in North Alabama.