Council: City to join Coweta in hospital appeal

by Celia Shortt

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The city of Newnan is joining Coweta County's fight to bring a behavioral hospital to the former Piedmont Newnan location on Hospital Road.

Coweta County is appealing the state’s denial of a Certificate of Need for a behavioral hospital proposed for the old Piedmont site on Hospital Road, and Newnan City Council announced Tuesday it is joining the suit.

“We believe the citizens of Newnan and Coweta County should have that type of care available to them locally,” said Newnan Mayor Keith Brady following an executive session at the council’s regular meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s round two,” said US HealthVest Chief Operating Officer Neal Cury following Tuesday’s council meeting. “We feel it is adequate and sufficient grounds for an appeal.”

Cury is glad the city is supportive and believes their support will help the appeal.

“Having the city involved goes a long way,” he said. “(It is) speaking volumes for the need.”

The state’s CON process allows for an applicant that is denied to appeal, and also allows for cities and counties to appeal.

However, “we’re told it (city and county involvement) is quite rare,” said Stacie York, US HealthVest vice president.

The city council also approved having the Newnan Hospital Board reimbursing all the legal expenses for the county and the city which are incurred. The Newnan Hospital Board is the entity which retained the money and assets from the sale of the old hospital on Jackson Street.

Last week, the Coweta County Board of Commissioners approved moving forward with the appeal, following an executive session for legal and personnel issues.

“We were disappointed in the state’s decision,” Coweta County Administrator Michael Fouts said Tuesday. “We feel like there is vast support, and demand, for this. We feel like it would be a great asset to the community, both locally and in the region,” Fouts said.

“We feel that there is a very big demand… for a behavioral facility in Coweta County,” said Coweta Commission Chairman Bob Blackburn on Tuesday. “The county definitely disagrees with the ruling from the state that the facility is not needed and we are glad that the city of Newnan is going to join in with us.”

Last year, US HealthVest announced its desire to turn the old hospital facility on Hospital Road into a behavioral hospital for Newnan and Coweta County. On Dec. 27, the state denied a Certificate of Need for the desired facility. The proposed complex would have 60 beds for inpatient care, of which 10 would be reserved for active duty military and veterans.



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