Press Releases

Bessemer, AL – Today, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) welcomed U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh and Undersecretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small to Medical West Hospital in Bessemer. The visit began with a roundtable where Sewell joined officials from the USDA, Jefferson County Commission, and UAB Medical West Hospital to discuss how they can collaborate to strengthen and expand access to health care for rural communities. Following their discussion, Deputy Secretary Bronaugh announced more than $1 billion in investments by the USDA that will transform rural areas across the country, including $360 million for the construction of the Medical West Hospital in Bessemer. This funding will increase access to health care, education, and public safety while spurring community development and building sound infrastructure for people living in rural communities.

Bessemer’s Medical West Hospital Authority will use this $360 million Community Facilities Direct Loan, announced today, to build a state-of-the-art, 200-bed hospital. It will feature a 26-room emergency department, 12 operating rooms, eight labor and delivery rooms, and eight multi-purpose rooms. This 405,186- square-foot facility will be strategically located to serve rural west Jefferson County, rural west Tuscaloosa County and other surrounding rural communities. This project will benefit approximately 333,000 rural people in these communities. 

“I was so pleased to welcome USDA Deputy Secretary Bronaugh and Undersecretary Torres Small to Alabama today!” said Rep. Sewell. “I want to thank them and the rest of the Biden-Harris Administration for their commitment to Alabama’s 7th Congressional District and for bringing transformational investments like this right here to our doorstep. Thanks to this $360 million investment, the construction of Medical West Hospital in Bessemer will expand access to critical health care services for thousands of residents in Jefferson and Tuscaloosa Counties and the surrounding rural communities.”

“The Biden-Harris Administration has made investing in infrastructure improvements a top priority,” said Deputy Secretary Bronaugh. “These loans and grants will help rural communities invest in facilities and services that are vital to all communities, such as health care facilities, schools, libraries, and first responder vehicles and equipment. When we invest in essential services in rural America, we build opportunity and prosperity for the people who call rural communities home.”

The construction of Medical West Hospital is one of 737 projects that USDA is helping fund through five programs to help rural America build back better, stronger and more equitably than ever before. These programs include Community Facilities Direct Loans and Grants, Community Facilities Loan Guarantees, Community Facilities Technical Assistance Training Grants, Community Facilities Disaster Grants, and Economic Impact Initiative Grants. The projects will finance emergency response vehicles and equipment; build or improve hospitals and clinics and help fund other essential community facilities. Bronaugh underscored the critical role that Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, Vice Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, had in fighting for additional funding for the Community Facilities Direct Loans, which made many of these investments in critical rural infrastructure possible.   

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit

Photos and videos from today’s events can be viewed and downloaded here.