Brookwood Baptist Health/Citizens Baptist Medical Center

TALLADEGA -- The State Health Planning and Development Agency has issued a certificate of need for Brookwood Baptist Health Center/Citizens Baptist Medical Center to add 14 inpatient adult psychiatric beds to the hospital in Talladega.

According to a press release issued Monday, the new beds will be placed via “the renovation of existing space.” The estimated cost of the project is $3,804,920, the release says.

Brookwood/Citizens already has 14 beds for geriatric psychiatric patients.

The process of getting the certificate of need from the state has been ongoing for more than a year.

In April 2017, then CEO Doug Brewer explained, “There are very few (adult) psych beds in this state, and none in Talladega County.” At the time, the closest available adult psychiatric beds were in Walker County.

The new beds will be for patients between the ages of 19 and 60. Psychiatric patients over the age of 60 will be treated in a different area because the two groups generally have different needs. Patients under 19 also have different needs.

At the time, Brewer said the renovated area would cover 10,000 to 12,000 square feet in the current geriatric unit on the fourth floor. The geriatric unit would eventually be moved to the second floor.

Once open, the adult psychiatric unit is expected to create 20 to 25 new jobs. Technician jobs would be filled locally, and Central Alabama Community College would be involved in recruiting nurses.

It was not clear Thursday how long the renovations would take and when the new beds might be open.