FAIRHOPE – Supporters of a new USA Health medical center in Fairhope expect to break ground on one building later this year but plans for a second facility are still waiting for state approval.
USA Health plans to build its new Mapp Family Campus on the southeast corner of Alabama 181 and Alabama 104. Owen Bailey, CEO of USA Health, told Fairhope City Council members on Monday, April 12, that center will improve medical care and health education on the Eastern Shore.
“There will be a focus on health care, not just sick care. We’re talking about a focus on wellness and prevention and nutrition and healthy lifestyles,” Bailey said. “It reflects a lot of what makes Fairhope special. You’ll see a lot of greenery. You’ll see a lot of walking paths, places to exercise to continue with that theme of wellness.”
Bailey said the first facility will be a 50,000-square foot professional office building. The three-story structure will provide offices for doctors and other medical-care providers. The facility will include primary care, family medicine and a full range of diagnostic and imaging services on the ground floor.
The upper floors will include spaces for specialists including pediatrics, surgery, gastrointestinal, and high-risk obstetrics, he said. “Just a wide variety, many of them unique to the area that aren’t here right now and that is a key component.”
He said the center will also include a demonstration kitchen for community classes in healthy cooking and other education spaces for inside and outside classes.
Bailey said USA Health plans to break ground on the office building in late summer or early fall of 2021.
The schedule for the second building, a 25,000-square-foot ambulatory surgery center, is uncertain, he said.
“That’s in a certificate of need process right now where we have had opposition,” Bailey said. “I think it’s going to be a few more months before we know how that plays out. We certainly hope we receive approval for this. We also believe this is very much needed in the region.”
The center is planned on property donated by Louis and Melinda Mapp of Fairhope.
Louis Mapp told council members that the new center will be a benefit to the area.
“Baldwin County has some excellent health care, and this would be a real addition to the health care for our citizens here on the subspecialities they have at USA Health,” Mapp said.
Councilman Corey Martin said proposed services, such as education for diabetic residents, are needed.
“There’s a limited amount of diabetes education and training on this side. Most of our diabetes patients have to go and travel to Mobile,” Martin said. “This is one reason that it’s very important that we have the education and the tools to be able to teach people how to eat, let along take care of their diabetes, but to teach them how to fix their foods and things like that. It’s a big, big deal that a lot of people don’t talk about, so I really think that this a good deal that y’all are doing.”