UAB Medical Center West to Remain Near Bessemer

Sherrel Wheeler Stewart, WBHM 90.3 FM

The 54-year-old UAB Medical West will be replaced with a new facility just west of Bessemer in McCalla.

Officials in west Jefferson County at a press conference Monday welcomed UAB Medical Center West’s decision to build a new facility there. Prior to the announcement, UAB had also considered moving the facility to Hoover.

Keith Pendleton, CEO of Medical Center West, said in 2017 they purchased land just off I-459 in McCalla to build a replacement hospital for the Bessemer facility. Then Hoover tried to recruit the hospital.

West Jefferson County officials say they opposed the move because it would have been a blow to the area’s economy and health care offerings.

Bessemer Mayor Kenneth Gulley says the announcement signals a win for the hospital and the western area.

“It’s retaining approximately 1,500 jobs that’s already here,” Gulley says. “If it had gone to the city of Hoover, that means we would have lost approximately 1,500 jobs.”

Bessemer wants to annex the 35-acre site into its city limits. Gulley says Medical Center West needs municipal services including police and fire protection. The city of Bessemer will work with Jefferson County to develop the infrastructure for the new facility in the McCalla community, Gulley says.