Civil rights activist Al Sharpton will be in Birmingham later this week, adding his voice to keeping inpatient services at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital.
Supporters of the hospital hope the visit will make the hospital part of a national debate over health care for poor people.
Sharpton will attend a forum at 16th Street Baptist Church and then a rally at the Jefferson County Courthouse.
State representative John Rogers has been a vocal opponent of the Jefferson County commission's plan to shut down inpatient care.
"This is a national situation. Republicans have made healthcare a national issue. Not only here but Las Vegas and Tennessee," Rogers said.
Jefferson County Commission President David Carrington says Sharpton is coming to Birmingham in part due to community misconceptions the hospital is closing.
"Cooper Green is open. Those portions of Cooper Green will remain open and I would urge everyone to keep their appointments. Keep their appointments and be there," Carrington said.
Carrington says he already had plans to be out of town during Sharpton's visit.
County manager Tony Petelos says talks continue with other hospitals to accept Cooper Green patients who need overnight care.
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