Lloyd Noland Hospital

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Lloyd Noland Hospital (originally Employees Hospital of the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company, later HealthSouth Metro West) was a 319-bed full service hospital located at 701 Lloyd Noland Parkway/Ridgeway Road on a 41-acre site atop Flint Ridge in Fairfield.

The hospital, one of the first industrial hospitals of its size anywhere, was constructed in 1919 for the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company. The 4-story hospital, built for $750,000 provided comprehensive medical services to TCI employees and their families and replaced the older Cunningham Hospital in Ensley. It was the centerpiece of the company's wide-ranging health and sanitation efforts led by Doctor Lloyd Noland.

The building was planned in three large wings radiating out from a central hub. The exterior was clad in pressed brick with terra cotta and cut limestone trim. The interior surfaces were finished with hard materials such as polished concrete and ceramic tile for sanitation. The flat roofs of the wings were made accessible from pavilions at the hub for use as "sun parlors". The ground floor housed outpatient facilities and waiting rooms as well as the power house, storerooms, nurse dormitories and the laundry. Adult inpatient services were accommodated on the second floor and children's wards on the third along with laboratories and x-ray rooms. The upper floor accommodated private patients. The new hospital opened to white patients on October 29 and to black persons the following day.

In 1950 the company, by then a division of U. S. Steel, renamed the hospital for Dr Noland. A year later the facility was turned over to the public with an endowed nonprofit Lloyd Noland Foundation to oversee its expansion and continued operation.

The first major expansion of the hospital was completed in 1965, with another addition completed in 1973.

In 1996 the foundation sold the hospital for $47 million to Tenet HealthSystem Medical, Inc., a subsidiary of the Santa Barbara, California-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. Gary Glasscock became CEO and Leon Hamrick was made medical director.

In 1999 Tenet sold the hospital to the Fairfield Healthcare Authority, a city-sponsored partnership between Fairfield and HealthSouth. A $25 million renovation project was begun and Karen Davis placed in charge as CEO. A new professional office building was also planned and physicians were recruited to build up the medical staff. Chris Hartsell took over as CEO soon later. By 2003 HealthSouth, claiming to have lost as much as $16 million in the deal, filed a lawsuit against the Authority, which countersued claiming fraud on HealthSouth's part. A settlement reached in December 2003 gave ownership of the hospital to HealthSouth in exchange for a promise to keep the facility open for at least three years.

The hospital closed in 2004 in the wake of massive accounting fraud at HealthSouth. Adjacent Miles College subsequently acquired the 41-acre property and demolished the hospital in 2009 as part of its plans for a new facilities to serve campus health, wellness, and child development programs as well as its academic department of international studies and public policy. Later projects could add a performing arts center.

[edit] References

  • Smith, Anita (1986) Lloyd Noland Hospital: The Legacy. Fairfield: Lloyd Noland Foundation.
  • Cruikshank, George H. (1920) History of Birmingham and Its Environs: A Narrative Account of Their Historical Progress, Their People, and Their Principal Interests. 2 volumes. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company.
  • White, Marjorie Longenecker (1981) The Birmingham District: An Industrial History and Guide. Birmingham: Birmingham Historical Society ISBN 9990230099
  • Park, Jennifer (February 11, 2000) "HealthSouth Metro West Former Lloyd Noland Hospital wants to attract more doctors, new patients" Birmingham Business Journal
  • "HealthSouth to take over Metro West hospital." (October 16, 2003) Associated Press
  • Velasco, Anna (December 18, 2008) "Nonprofit Lloyd Noland Foundation wins $7.7 million verdict against Tenet Healthcare." Birmingham News
  • Ruisi, Anne (May 8, 2009) "Miles College spreads wings in Fairfield, Alabama, as Lloyd Noland hospital razing starts." Birmingham News
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