The Marietta-based health system on Thursday filed an appeal to the Georgia Department of Community Health regarding Northside Hospital’s proposal to replace its Canton hospital.
WellStar spokesman Keith Bowermaster said Northside has “refused to provide WellStar a response to multiple concerns that WellStar has identified.”
“WellStar is appealing Northside’s request for a Certificate of Need (CON) exemption to relocate Northside Hospital-Cherokee because the size and scope of the project indicate that, once completed, the new facility will greatly expand the services currently provided at Northside Hospital-Cherokee,” Bowermaster said.
Department of Community Health spokeswoman Pam Keene said WellStar’s appeal falls under the Georgia Administrative Procedures Act, and a hearing officer will be assigned to the case.
“WellStar’s latest move is proof positive that they are doing everything they can to delay this much-needed replacement facility,” Northside Hospital-Cherokee CEO Billy Hayes said. “These continued attempts by WellStar to deny area residents access to a new, state-of-the-art hospital are of growing concern to hospital patients and the Cherokee community.”
“It is very disappointing that a hospital more than 20 miles away would be more concerned over potential loss of business than the residents of Cherokee County, who need and deserve a new hospital in their community,” Northside Hospital spokesman Russ Davis added. “This community is very excited about this project and hopes that WellStar will do the right thing and withdraw their appeal.”
Along with the new 84-bed hospital, the campus will eventually include a women’s center, a multi-specialty medical office building and cancer center, a parking deck with 600 parking spots and a 300-spot surface parking lot.
The project is expected to cost about $250 million and the hospital is expected to open by March 2015.