FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - More local health care could be making it’s way to the Shoals. That means you could be traveling less to seek the treatment you need.
The state’s Certificate of Need Board approved the request for the North Alabama Medical Center and UAB Health System to build a comprehensive cancer center.
North Alabama Medical Center administrators say the future looks bright after getting final approval to build a cancer center. Getting to this point was filled with obstacles, including the Alliance Oncology filing an appeal to keep North Alabama Medical Center from building another cancer center in the Shoals.
“We finally got approval yesterday from an administrative law judge and we are excited to build a new cancer center the past few years Alliance Oncology has been trying to block that certificate of need but we are excited for a good outcome for our community,” said Russell Pigg, CEO of the North Alabama Medical Center.
Pigg says many patients in the Shoals aren’t able to get all the cancer treatment they need. That forces patients to make a trip to either Birmingham or Huntsville for much needed treatment. He says the partnership between the hospital and UAB Huntsville Regional Medical Campus allows more advance treatment to be available right here in the Shoals.
“We will be able to do medical oncology, infusion therapy, diagnostic imaging and medical oncology visits all in the same place," he said.
He says the cancer center will be built off Enterprise Road in Florence. He says this is all in efforts to bring more local healthcare to rural Alabama.
“There is a huge need for the community, not only for Florence, but the Shoal’s area, middle Tennessee, and northeast Mississippi," he said.
Pigg says they still haven’t reached the finish line yet. He says there are still some legal matters to be worked out and there is still a strong chance Alliance Oncology could still appeal again.
WAFF 48 News reached out to Alliance Oncology for a statement but so far have not heard back from them.