Why can’t we have our own behavioral hospital?

Tanner Health System’s opposition to a behavioral hospital in Newnan appears a little self-serving. After all, who wants a little competition?

Tanner’s opposition, according to a press statement given to The Newnan Times-Herald, centers on a perceived lack of need, what percentage of non-insured patients the Newnan facility would see, and adequate separation of different age groups, as well as other issues. They find fault with just about everything on the proposed Newnan complex.

They say their in-patient facility, Willowbrooke at Tanner in Villa Rica, currently provides 52 beds and has state approval for 30 more. Tanner said it has an 81 percent occupancy for adults and will have a pediatric occupancy of 65 percent after the new beds are added.

Basically, Carroll County-based Tanner says it can meet Coweta County’s needs. They have the staff and the beds.

Maybe. But why then would US HealthVest want to invest its money here in Newnan if it doesn’t see a need? And can anyone ever say there’s enough behavioral facilities — inpatient and outpatient — to meet everyone’s needs.

US HealthVest wants to convert the old Piedmont Newnan Hospital building on Hospital Road into a 60-bed facility. Of those, 10 would be reserved for active duty military and veterans.

The plan already has the support of just about anyone and everyone in Coweta County — from the mayor and city council to the police chief, the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce and even Piedmont Newnan Hospital.

But not Tanner, which isn’t even in this county. Yes, Tanner has handled Coweta’s needs in the past. Yet that doesn’t mean we don’t need more treatment facilities and experts to help those who need it. The US HealthVest complex will not only bring local jobs, but it will allow for patients to be treated much closer to home. Willowbrooke is more than 30 miles from downtown Newnan.

It seems fairly obvious Tanner’s opposition is based more on not wanting competition than doing what’s best for our community. We suggest Tanner just stay in Carroll County and let us take care of our own.



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