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Supporters of a proposed skilled nursing center in Cairo received good news late Tuesday when it was announced that a hearing officer had reversed the Georgia Department of Community Health’s original denial to issue a Certificate of Need (CON) for the proposed nursing home.
Grady County Hospital Authority Chairman Charles M. Stafford alerted The Messenger of the hearing officer’s decision. Chairman Stafford noted that the Department of Community Health now has the right to appeal to the Department’s Commissioner within 30 days, but he said he remained optimistic the CON would be granted.
“Our community really needs this and I truly believe God had a hand in this decision,” Chairman Stafford said.
Originally, a different hearing officer was scheduled to hear the appeal, according to Stafford, but hearing officer Bill Joy ultimately presided and heard the case for the appeal on April 15.
“I think God sent us this man. This is the Lord’s work. I’m confident of that,” Stafford said.
The Hospital Authority and Grady General Hospital originally applied for a CON for the proposed 75-bed nursing home on May 29, 2018, but the application was denied by the Department of Community Health on Sept. 25, 2018.
John D. Archbold Memorial Hospital, Inc., doing business as Grady General Hospital, filed an appeal on Oct. 23, 2018.
Originally, a 108-bed, $24 million facility was proposed, but plans were scaled down once the application was filed in May last year.
The proposed nursing home would be constructed on a vacant block north of the hospital, which is located at 1155 Fifth St., S.E. in Cairo.
Grady General Hospital Administrator Crystal Wells said the facility is needed due to limited resources here that focus on short-term and long-term subacute services including rehabilitation therapies, wound management and skilled nursing.
“This is great news for our community and everyone who has been involved deserves our gratitude. It has been a team effort and thankfully the hearing officer heard our argument and saw the great need we have here in Grady County. Our prayers have been answered. We just have to pray now that the decision is not appealed,” Chairman Stafford said.
Officials were notified of the hearing officer’s decision by attorneys representing the hospital and the authority in the appeal.