In what is billed as an effort to focus on meeting the healthcare needs of the upper Gulf Coast region, USA Health formally broke ground on the $30 million Mapp Family Campus in Baldwin County today. Located on land at the southeast corner of state highways 181 and 104 in Fairhope — donated by Baldwin County philanthropists Louis and Melinda Mapp last year — the campus will be home to an ambulatory surgery center and a physician office building.
The ambulatory surgery center required the approval of the state’s Certificate of Need Review Board and was contested by market rival Infirmary Health, which complained about the detrimental financial affects the USA Health facility would have on its existing healthcare network in Baldwin County, including Thomas Hospital in Fairhope.
Among those who submitted letters on behalf of the Infirmary included the outgoing mayors of Fairhope and Daphne, Baldwin County Sheriff Huey “Hoss” Mack, Regions Bank President and CEO John Turner Jr., automotive dealer Ty Thompson and T. Bestor Ward, chairman of the board for the Alabama State Port Authority.
In May an administrative law judge agreed with Infirmary Health, noting USA Health did not provide evidence of a substantial unmet public need required of its application, but the CON Board voted 5-0 in favor of the project in June, awarding the application.
“Collaborating with community physicians, providers from USA Health will bring their specialized expertise to meet the healthcare needs of the people in the region,” USA Health CEO Owen Bailey said. “As the only academic healthcare system in the region, USA Health continues to expand relationships with community providers and other partners, as we strive to provide increased access to the care that people need and deserve.”
According to a news release today, approximately 50 percent of the population of Baldwin County lives within 15 miles of the Mapp Family Campus. The campus will be home to a three-story, 50,000-square-foot physician office building (POB), staffed with primary and specialty care providers to better meet the healthcare needs of the people in the region. Specialties will include neurology, cardiology and surgical specialties pediatric and adult gastroenterology and urology. The building also will house a full array of imaging technology, including X-ray, ultrasound, mammography, CT and MRI.
USA Health physicians and other providers will incorporate health and wellness strategies for their patients along with traditional medicine. A demonstration kitchen and community room will be included in the facility. Caregivers and coaches will provide opportunities to engage patients in movement, relaxation and healthy-eating classes, with the goal of helping people lead longer, better lives.
Within the 25,000-square-foot ambulatory surgery center, surgeons from USA Health and the community will utilize some of the most technologically advanced surgical equipment, including a Mako robotic arm to assist in total joint replacements. Surgical specialists in pediatrics, orthopedics, urology, general surgery, gastroenterology, ear, nose and throat, and more will care for patients at the new ambulatory surgery center. This ASC is anticipated to eliminate the need for people to leave Baldwin County for surgery, keeping them closer to their homes and loved ones.
“The Mapp Family Campus will be another important location for educating and training the next generation of healthcare providers,” said John Marymont, M.D., MBA, vice president for medical affairs at the University of South Alabama and dean of the College of Medicine. “Having this additional site will help USA Health try to alleviate some of the healthcare provider shortages we are facing.”
Louis and Melinda Mapp donated the nearly eight-acres of land that the campus will sit on, and the University of South Alabama named the campus in their honor. The Mapps are long-time supporters of USA Health, as well as volunteers at University Hospital and Children’s & Women’s Hospital.
“I have seen first-hand the impact that academic medicine can have on people,” Louis Mapp said. “We are honored to be a part of bringing that level of care to this part of our region.”
Designed to create a peaceful environment, the Mapp Family Campus will have multiple water features, walking paths, and outdoor educational and gathering areas. Plans also call for the campus to contain an indoor educational component, which can be utilized for providing patients with nutritional and prevention strategies related to wellness.
The construction investment for the campus during the next two years will be approximately $30 million. Job creation will include those related to the construction of the facilities, as well as the provision of care. Construction jobs are estimated at 225 for the entire project. When fully operational, the healthcare delivery component on the campus will generate approximately 100 new jobs.
Concord Healthcare Development is the project manager and Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC is the general contractor for the project. Walcott Adams Verneuille Architects is the architectural firm for the program.
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