The Walker County Board of Commissioners submitted a second letter to the Georgia Department of Community Health in support of CHI Memorial’s proposal to replace its existing hospital serving northwest Georgia.
The Board prepared an initial letter last month as part of CHI Memorial’s application for a certificate of need to operate a 64 bed hospital on Battlefield Parkway in Ringgold. Since that initial letter, CHI Memorial’s proposal has received opposition from an out of state health care system on the basis that the new hospital will reduce access to care for Walker County residents.
Walker County Government strongly disagrees with this claim. The replacement hospital would be five miles from the current site in Fort Oglethorpe and any increase in drive times for Walker County residents will be negligible. In fact, some residents will actually save a couple of minutes driving to the replacement site, which already provides access to several hospital services and physician offices.
In addition, the antiquated hospital building in Fort Oglethorpe has a number of maintenance challenges and is not capable of providing the health care services our community deserves. When maintenance issues occur, our residents are faced with the headache of cancelled appointments that have to be rescheduled or relocated.
The state will decide whether to grant CHI Memorial a certificate of need to build the new hospital on April 29.