Medical center wraps up one expansion as another begins.
Residents have access to some of the best service providers and amenities for health care. The Health Care Authority of Cullman County serves more than 175,000 residents in a six-county area. At the center of this network is the 145-bed Cullman Regional.
The medical complex wrapped up a fifth-floor expansion in 2018 that included a 15,264-square-foot addition with 30 patient beds, a central nurses station and a family waiting room.
Just a couple months later, the hospital added the da Vinci Xi Surgical System. This new tool improved the community’s access to minimally invasive surgery for patients who have prostate, kidney, bladder or colon cancer as well as those in need of hernia repair, bariatric surgery or gynecological procedures. Da Vinci surgeries result in less pain, reduce scarring and provide quicker recovery times. Less than a year after it was introduced, “Leoâ€ had already completed more than 150 procedures.
More recently, Cullman Regional introduced Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Cullman Regional Technology to assist with total knee and hip replacement procedures. Mako surgeries cause less bone and soft tissue damage, which reduces the time spent recovering and need for pain medication. It can also contribute to less required physical therapy.
In June 2019, Cullman Regional announced a $30 million expansion that will increase the capacity of the Critical Care Unit (CCU/ICU) and the Emergency Department each by 50%.
“In order for us to more effectively and efficiently provide care for all patients coming to us for treatment, these upgrades to our current facility are necessary,â€ Cullman Regional CEO James Clements says. The expansion also will enhance accessibility to behavioral health services, increasing its treatment rooms to eight and adding an outpatient behavioral health program. Construction for the expansion is slated to take place in 2020.
Health care access is an important factor contributing to the quality of life in the Cullman area. Good Samaritan Health Clinic offers the uninsured or underinsured the ability to seek treatment when higher-priced options might not otherwise be available.
“Many patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, who lack health care coverage have no other place to get ongoing care for these problems,” says Dr. William F. Peinhardt, Cullman Internal Medicine. “If these chronic conditions are not controlled, these patients often end up being frequent ER department visitors or end up admitted to the hospital in crisis.”
Other affordable options include about a dozen urgent care facilities, some of which feature new online check-in capabilities, as well as specialized centers like First Source for Women that offer pregnancy care and resources for families.