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Christ Hospital's Ft. Mitchell Surgery Center Rejected by Judge

Christ Hospital's plans for a more than $20 million surgery center in Ft. Mitchell on the site of the former Drawbridge Inn took a serious hit when a Franklin County Circuit judge denied a certificate of need application.

The June 20 ruling by Judge Thomas Wingate reverses the Kentucky Office of Health Policy's decision to approve Christ Hospital's plans. It was challenged by St. Elizabeth Healthcare, the dominant health care provider in Northern Kentucky.

Christ had hoped to construct and operate an abulatory surgery center in Ft. Mitchell. Following the decision, The project would have included outpatient surgery services, a diagnostic center, and access to more physicians for local residents.

Christ issued a news release saying that Northern Kentucky residents will continue to have limited access to health care options as a result.

The surgery center would have anchored the Fort Mitchell Gateway Project, a mixed-use project developed by Northern Kentucky-based Brandicorp which would have included a hotel, restaurants, retail businesses, and multi-family units.

The development site, which is conveniently located at the crossroads of Buttermilk Pike and I-75, would have created jobs, generated tax revenue, and provided economic development for Northern Kentucky, a news release said.

"Today was a setback for the patients and for the residents of Northern Kentucky," said Mike Keating, president and CEO of The Christ Hospital. "What we have learned by caring for and speaking with Northern Kentucky residents is that consumers and patients prefer and are asking for more healthcare options in the communities where they live. We will continue to explore how to bring more healthcare options to the residents of Northern Kentucky notwithstanding the efforts of others to limit competition.”

St. Elizabeth contended that Northern Kentucky has enough surgery centers.
Christ operates an outpatient center in Ft. Wright and has physician offices in Ft. Mitchell and Burlington.
-Staff report