Parkridge attempts to shut down new CHI Memorial Hospital in Catoosa County
Chattanooga-based Parkridge Health System officials are challenging CHI Memorial’s plans to build a new hospital on Battlefield Parkway in Catoosa County, Georgia, arguing the project is too close to Parkridge’s facilities, just above from the Tennessee state line.
In June 2021, CHI Memorial officials said they were investing more than $100 million to build a new community hospital, moving the outdated North Georgia Health System facility to Fort Oglethorpe on 27 acres of land. 2 miles from Interstate 75 east.
Since the new Battlefield Parkway hospital would be more than 5 miles away, Memorial had to apply for a new Certificate of Need – a permit-like regulatory hurdle that requires healthcare providers to substantiate the need for services before getting started. in big projects. Andrew McGill, director of strategy for CHI Memorial, filed a certificate of need application for the new hospital with the Georgia Department of Community Health in December.
(READ MORE: New CHI Memorial Hospital to Shake Up North Georgia Healthcare Market)
As the deadline for state regulators to decide whether to grant Memorial’s Certificate of Need approaches, Parkridge officials say the proposed relocation will duplicate services in an already well-served area while reducing the access to care for patients west of Fort Oglethorpe.
“We have never been opposed to the current location of CHI Memorial Hospital Georgia in Fort Oglethorpe, including the construction of a replacement hospital at the current site to serve residents of Walker and Dade counties,” said a statement from the Parkridge Health System. “Parkridge Health supports equitable and sustainable access to healthcare; however, we do not believe the move from CHI Memorial Hospital Georgia supports this position.”
Parkridge operates two hospitals in neighboring Hamilton County, Tennessee – Parkridge Medical Center, which according to Google Maps is 7.6 miles from the current Memorial Hospital in Georgia, and Parkridge East, which is 6. 1 miles from existing site.
Parkridge East also recently received approval in Tennessee to build a freestanding emergency department near Camp Jordan in East Ridge, 7.8 miles from Fort Oglethorpe Hospital.
Memorial’s new location would be 11, 6.5 and 6 miles from those three facilities, respectively, according to Google Maps, and CHI Memorial’s main campus in Chattanooga is 12 miles from the proposed location.
Memorial officials have said in the past that their desire to relocate was in part to be closer to growth and development and because the Fort Oglethorpe facility bears a stigma left over from the period before Memorial’s takeover in 2017.
CHI Memorial Georgia launched a website to garner community support in response to Parkridge’s opposition.
“CHI Memorial Hospital Georgia is excited and ready to build a brand new hospital on Battlefield Parkway, but Parkridge Health System has asked the State of Georgia to stop our project,” the website reads. “Parkridge wants Georgians to travel to Tennessee for health care instead. Tell the leaders of Parkridge and Georgia that you want your care closer to home.”
Friday marks the 100th day since Memorial filed its Certificate of Need request, which also makes it the last day to submit letters of support for the new hospital to the state. Georgian regulators will decide the fate of the project on April 29.
CHI Memorial’s McGill said in a statement that the North Georgia community deserves convenient access to health care close to home, noting that Memorial has had a presence in the area since the mid-1990s and already offers many services in Georgia, ranging from primary and specialized services. ambulance and occupational health services for residents and employers of Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties.
“All medical care currently provided at the aging facility will be transferred to a new, modern, state-of-the-art hospital, easily accessible to residents of Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties. Medical services at the new hospital will also be expanded to allow more residents of North Georgia to receive health care in the community where they live and work,” said McGill.
No other health care facility opposes Memorial’s new hospital, including Erlanger Health System, which has a hospital 14 miles and another 9 miles from the proposed location.
Memorial is part of Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health, formed in 2019 when Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health merged to form the largest nonprofit health system in the United States.
Parkridge is part of the for-profit HCA Healthcare, America’s largest hospital company, headquartered in Nashville.