Parkridge drops hospital appeal, Catoosa officials celebrate

County commissioners applaud Parkridge decision, ready to break ground on CHI Memorial smart hospital

CATOOSA COUNTY, Georgia (WDEF) — The Hospital Wars in Northwest Georgia are officially over.

Some residents and local government officials are even declaring “victory” for their community.

Parkridge Health System announced Monday that it would no longer appeal the certificate of need required to build a new hospital off of Battlefield Parkway in Ringgold.

Commissioner Chuck Harris says this outcome is proof that everyday citizens can make a difference.

CHI Memorial now has a wide-open lane to begin production on their new smart hospital.

After months of rallies, social media outcries and assistance from both local and state governments, Harris is excited for the new facility to finally break ground.

“Parkridge put a wall up on the Tennessee-Georgia line,” Harris said. “We hope we’ve torn that wall down because we want to welcome the folks that want to come from East Ridge and those areas. We want this to be a regional care center.”

Commissioner Vanita Hullander mirrored the statements that residents had been arguing for months.

She says no longer will the community have to cross state lines for quality healthcare.

Having served as a paramedic for 35 years, she can’t stress enough how much “minutes matter.”

“I also wanted to say how much I appreciate Sen. Jeff Mullis [and] State Rep. Dewayne Hill because if we didn’t have those two guys in Atlanta, this just wouldn’t have happened,” Hullander said. “You know, there’s legislation now that an out-of-state hospital can’t do a CON in Georgia.”

Harris and Hullander say they have no ill will toward Parkridge, saying they’re welcome to discuss potential future medical facilities if ever needed.

But for now, both are proud of their community, which they say made a clear impact in getting their hospital back on track.

“I don’t know who they listened to,” Harris said. “I don’t know if it was from the very top from the governor, the state senator, state representative. I don’t know if it was from the citizens, but I’m glad they listened.”

“The public stepped up and said ‘no’ — we’re going to get this hospital,” Hullander said. “They were willing to do whatever it took and they made a lot of noise. This may have been delayed a lot longer if they had not made so much noise.”

Parkridge stated that it has “never been opposed” to CHI Memorial’s current or proposed hospital locations in Catoosa County.

However, they still believe the new hospital will not support “equitable and sustainable access to healthcare.”

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