Spotlight on Baldwin County: Health Care

Baldwin County is home to multiple hospitals providing services

The first transaortic valve replacement surgery at Thomas Hospital is performed.

Thomas Hospital

Thomas Hospital in Fairhope, an affiliate of Infirmary Health, has 189 beds and 1,116 employees. It offers a variety of services, including robotics, orthopedic, open-heart surgery, cardiac rehab, pediatric therapy and outpatient therapy. It also offers outpatient services at Thomas Medical Center in Daphne, Thomas Ambulatory Surgery Center in Fairhope and emergency/imaging services at Thomas Hospital Emergency in Malbis.

Recent awards include BlueCross BlueShield Blue Distinction Center+ for cardiac care, knee and hip replacement and maternity care. Thomas Hospital earned national recognition from U.S. News & World Report as a high-performing hospital for heart attack and maternity care — the only hospital in Alabama to earn the maternity designation for this grading period.

Thomas Hospital’s birth center and medical surgical unit, 2North, earned the Beacon Award for Excellence, which recognizes nursing units for providing superior care and improving patient outcomes. In January 2022, the hospital received the Women’s Choice Award for America’s Best Hospitals for outpatient experience, mammography, minimally invasive surgery, obstetrics, orthopedics and patient safety.

Thomas remains the only Commission on Cancer Accredited Hospital in Baldwin County.

Other recent highlights include:

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  • Thomas Hospital performed the first transaortic valve replacement surgery in fall 2021 in Baldwin County. The hospital has the only open-heart surgery center in Baldwin County.
  • In spring 2020, Thomas Hospital received approval by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to launch an internal medicine residency program.
  • Colony Rehabilitation Hospital completed its expansion from 12 to 25 beds in summer 2021. It is the only accredited comprehensive acute rehabilitation facility (CARF) for patients with physical and neurological disorders in Baldwin County.
  • Thomas Hospital’s orthopedic surgery team was the first in Mobile and Baldwin counties to perform a robotic total knee replacement in March 2022.


North Baldwin Infirmary

North Baldwin Infirmary (NBI), an affiliate of Infirmary Health, is a 78-bed hospital located in Bay Minette and has 326 employees.

NBI welcomed a new president Kenny Breal in October 2021. Breal had been executive director for imaging services and vice president of clinical operations for Infirmary Health since 2015.

In March 2022, North Baldwin Infirmary began offering 3D mammography. North Baldwin Infirmary provided nearly 1,800 mammograms in the last year.

In May 2021, NBI, in partnership with UAB Medicine and Sanderling Renal Services, launched a new nephrology telemedicine program, providing bedside dialysis to patients needing treatment and avoiding the need for transfer to another facility. NBI also partners with UAB for its transplant clinic and neurology.

The hospital also offers a senior behavioral health unit for older adults experiencing behavioral or mental changes. And it operates Oakwood, a 75-bed skilled nursing facility on the campus of NBI.

NBI is the only designated “Baby-Friendly” hospital in Mobile and Baldwin counties and was named a Better Bama Babies Hospital in 2019. The hospital earned an ‘A’ Leapfrog Safety Grade six consecutive times through Spring 2021. Most recently, NBI received the Women’s Choice Award for obstetrics and its birth center earned the Beacon Award for Excellence, which recognizes nursing units for superior care.

In 2021, Infirmary Health opened a new medical office building in the Malbis community of Daphne, investing more than $26 million to help make health care more accessible to residents of Baldwin County’s eastern shore communities. The 79,000-square-foot facility includes a full lab and imaging services, plus medical specialty care.

South Baldwin Regional Medical Center’s new freestanding emergency room in Gulf Shores.

South Baldwin Regional Medical Center

South Baldwin Regional Medical Center in Foley has 112 beds and offers inpatient, outpatient, emergency, diagnostic and surgical care. There are about 650 employees.

The hospital is growing and expanding to meet medical needs in the fast-growing region — in fact, it is embarking on the largest building program in its history. In May 2021, the hospital opened a freestanding emergency department in Gulf Shores, a 14,000-square-foot facility that offers 24/7 emergency services in the region. It has nine exam rooms and one major exam room, onsite lab services, diagnostic imaging and more.

And there’s much more to come. Construction started in February on the hospital’s $200 million five-story patient tower and received approval to add 30 beds.

The tower will include offices and more operating rooms, the women and children’s unit, 12 ICU beds and 18 surgical beds on the third and fourth floors and room for future growth on the fifth floor.

The hospital receives regular accolades for patient care. In fall 2021, the hospital received an “A” Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, making it the 10th “A” the hospital has received since the fall 2016 report card. This designation recognizes the hospital’s achievements in protecting patients from harm and error. The hospital also was named one of the nation’s 100 top hospitals for 2020 by Fortune/IBM Watson Health.

Margaret Roley was named CEO of the hospital in March after a long career in nursing and hospital management.


EastPointe Hospital

EastPointe Hospital in Daphne is a part of AltaPointe Health and is a mental health treatment center for adults aged 19 and older.

EastPointe Hospital is accredited by The Joint Commission and certified by the Alabama Department of Mental Health. It is the only free-standing adult psychiatric hospital in the Mobile Bay region and offers 24-hour support.

AltaPointe Health also offers school-based services in many area public schools in Baldwin County and other nearby school systems.

USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute in Fairhope.

USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute — Fairhope

USA Health provides comprehensive, advanced treatment for patients with cancer. Some of the treatments and amenities offered at the institute in Fairhope include medical and radiation oncology, 16 recliners for patients receiving chemotherapy infusion, radiation therapy, clinical trials, genetic testing, support groups and education sessions.


USA Health Mapp Family Campus

With a goal of meeting the health care needs of the upper Gulf Coast region, USA Health in 2021 broke ground on the $30 million Mapp Family Campus in Fairhope, which is expected to open in 2023.

Longtime USA Health supporters and volunteers Louis and Melinda Mapp donated nearly eight acres of land for the campus, and the University of South Alabama, based in Mobile, named the campus in their honor.

There will be about 225 construction jobs, and when finished, there will be about 100 new jobs.

It will be home to a physician office building and an ambulatory surgery center.

The three-story, 50,000-square-foot physician office building will be staffed with primary and specialty care providers, as well as a full variety of imaging technology.

In the ambulatory surgery center, surgeons from USA Health and the community will utilize some of the most technologically advanced surgical equipment, including a Mako robotic arm, to assist in total joint replacements. Surgical specialists in pediatrics, orthopedics, urology, general surgery, gastroenterology, and ear, nose and throat, will provide care.

This article appeared in the May 2022 issue of Business Alabama.


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