Reverend Al Sharpton to join Cooper Green protest

Reverend Al Sharpton to join Cooper Green protest

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Nationally known civil rights advocate the Reverend Al Sharpton is coming to Birmingham to take part in support for inpatient care at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital.

Supporters of the hospital for the poor have been staging protests to keep inpatient services. Recently Jefferson County Commissioner George Bowman and Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell on Sharpton's radio program. Bowman called the decision by the three Republican Jefferson County Commissioners to end inpatient care a racial and partisan decision.

On Tuesday, Jefferson County Commission President David Carrington reacted to those comments.

"You know from my point of view there is not racial implications. I've consistently said members of the medical community say the model is broken and unsustainable. It's too costly," Carrington said

County Manager Tony Petelos continues to talk with other hospitals about accepting Cooper Green Mercy Hospital patients who need overnight stays.

"I think we are very optimistic, we will have inpatient agreements before we move forward. We want to be sure we have everything in place," Petelos said.

Commissioners say they do not expect Sharpton's visit to have any impact or reverse their decision about the hospital. Sharpton is set to take part in a rally and forum on Cooper Green Mercy Hospital on October 26. At this time, inpatient care is set to end December 1.

Congresswoman Terri Sewell says her office has received several calls from people worried about losing access to healthcare at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital.

"I think his presence will bring national attention of a problem of access to healthcare for the uninsured, the under insured low income people have," Sewell said.

Sewell says her top concern is making sure the poor have access some kind of healthcare service.

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