GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — The state has granted conditional approval to Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist to build a new hospital in Greensboro, and the spot they’ve chosen is in the northwestern part of the city off Horse Pen Creek Road.
The hospital would have two operating rooms and 36 beds and cost roughly $250 million.
Cone Health has announced its intention to appeal immediately. In a statement released by its CEO Dr. Mary Jo Cagle, the decision is called “poor,” and the same services are offered by a Cone Health facility two miles away. It goes on to say people have options in that community already.
There is one part of the city that feels left out.
East Greensboro has few resources for healthcare, and people who live there often have to travel to other parts of the city to go to an emergency room or even to see a doctor at all.
Councilwoman Sharon Hightower says many of the people who live in her district ultimately can’t get the healthcare they need at all, and without better resources in the future, they will continue to suffer.
“North Greensboro is saturated with healthcare options, but where we are lacking is east Greensboro,” Hightower said.
The announcement that Atrium Wake Forest Baptist received approval from the state to construct a hospital in northwest Greensboro didn’t sit well with her.
“We have to drive 10 to 15 to 20 minutes to get to a medical-type facility,” she said.
In east Greensboro, medical care is sparse. There’s the Cone Health Renaissance Family Medicine Clinic and Women’s Center and not much else.
“I am really disappointed they did not bother to talk to the leaders that represent the areas that need medical care,” Hightower said.
East Greensboro is a food desert, and much of it is socioeconomically disadvantaged. Hightower says many people who live there can’t afford good healthcare.
“They followed the money. They went into an area of affluence,” she said.
She says when she looks around east Greensboro, she’s very concerned about its people’s health with so little access to healthcare.
“Human beings deserve the right to be treated equitable and fair, and all we are asking people to respect who we are and value our lives,” she said.
Hightower says being overlooked is harmful, and she hopes in the future to bring walkable community clinics to the area that can serve people regularly and give them consistent care.