FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - The newest hospital in north Alabama is officially open and treating patients after eight years of planning, producing and perfecting.
The North Alabama Medical Center will serve patients in north Alabama plus southern Tennessee and Mississippi.
“The whole idea of this facility is to one, make it look less like a hospital and more like a hotel, and I think you’ve seen that. It’s beautiful. But also our technologies and ease of access for patient care," said Chief Operating Officer Mike Howard.
It’s been nearly 40 years since northwest Alabama has seen renovations and high-end acute care.
“The patient experience here is going to be wonderful because if you compare us to the old hospital where our rooms were very small and, of course, very old, we’ve come a long way since then. Our rooms are much larger. They’re much nicer. Everything works,” Howard said.
And the patients agree.
84-year-old Ms. Betty was the first patient to move into the new facility. Although she made some close relationships at ECM, she says she’s happy to be in the new facility.
“I’ve never had such good care,” she said.
And she’s already made great friends with the nursing staff at NAMC.
“They’ve been calling me ‘Queen Bee’ and I been calling them angels,” she said.
With the new space comes more beds, more hospital and operating rooms and a need for more staff.
“We are hiring more employees. We are growing the areas that we know we have to grow immediately, but we’ll also have some wings we don’t open on day one, today, until we have the need to do so. So we have the ability to expand," Howard said.
The new North Alabama Medical Center is also one of the only certified stroke surgery hospitals in the area.
Howard said this will now expand its services to better provide for the people in north Alabama.