UAB, Camden hospital trustees discuss reopening J. Paul Jones

Published 9:41 pm Friday, November 24, 2017

The UAB Health System has entered into a nonbinding memorandum of understanding with the board of trustees of J. Paul Jones Hospital in Camden to discuss a management agreement between the two entities that would reopen the hospital.

The memorandum outlines the process for ongoing discussions of J. Paul Jones Hospital to become a managed associate of UAB Medicine, and the potential creation of an Alabama Health Care Authority to own and operate the facility.

In August of this year, the hospital board announced that the 30-bed J. Paul Jones Hospital, which has been in operation for 60 years, would be forced to close due to declining reimbursement rates and the difficult financial environment facing small, local hospitals.

“Small hospitals, in particular those in Alabama’s underserved, rural counties, are under tremendous financial pressure,” said Will Ferniany, Ph.D., CEO of the UAB Health System.

“Several have closed over the past few years, and the outlook going forward looks bleak. We welcome the opportunity to work with the dedicated health care professionals in Wilcox County to find a way to keep the doors of this hospital open.”

“John Paul Jones Hospital has been a mainstay of this community for many years,” said George Alford, chair of the hospital board. “It has saved many lives, and brought many lives into this world. An affiliation with the UAB Health System will help to perpetuate the hospital’s outstanding legacy for many more years.”

The memorandum stipulates that an agreement be in place by Feb. 1, 2018.