Spotlight on Jefferson County: Health Care

Nine medical facilities serve residents and visitors of Jefferson County

Children’s of Alabama

This year marks the 14th consecutive year that U.S. News & World Report has ranked Children’s of Alabama among the nation’s best children’s hospitals. Children’s also ranked in the top 50 in eight specialty pediatric services including cancer and cardiology. The hospital is also listed as the No. 1 children’s hospital in the state according to the 2023-24 Best Children’s Hospital Survey, an honor it held the previous year as well.

Children’s is one of the largest and busiest pediatric hospitals in the nation and is licensed for 332 beds and 48 NICU bassinets. Children’s offers inpatient and outpatient services at its Russell Campus in Birmingham with additional specialty services at Children’s South and Children’s on 3rd Outpatient Center, as well as in Huntsville and Montgomery. Children’s also provides primary care at more than a dozen medical offices in communities across central Alabama.

The private, not-for-profit medical center also serves as the teaching hospital for UAB residency programs.

UAB Health System

UAB is among the top academic medical centers in the nation. UAB Hospital, the eighth-largest hospital in the country, sees almost 2 million patients each year.

In July, UAB announced temporary and long-term expansions of the UAB Hospital University Emergency Department. Temporary renovations began in June and will create nine new exam rooms and temporary waiting room space. Long-term plans for the $73 million project are renovations to the first floor of UAB Hospital’s North Pavilion, creating clinical care space and constructing a new three-story space in the drop-off drive of North Pavilion. In total, 66,030 new square feet of construction is anticipated and will provide 59 new exam rooms and additional imaging capacity for emergency clinical care.

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In early 2023, UAB surgeons, across 15 medical disciplines, collectively completed more than 20,000 robotic surgeries at UAB Hospital since 2004. Half of them occurred in the five-year span since 2018.

In May, the hospital successfully delivered the first baby from a uterus transplant recipient outside of a clinical trial in the U.S. The baby was the first born out of the UAB Comprehensive Transplant Institute and UAB Medicine uterus transplant program.

In June 2022, the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB celebrated its 50th anniversary and announced a five-year $27.5 million renewal of its core National Cancer Institute grant. The renewal will support UAB’s cancer research program through 2026. And in July, the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute awarded the center and the UAB Minority Health & Health Equity Research Center a five-year $9.6 million grant to participate in its Persistent Poverty Initiative. The funds will help establish a center to study ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer and the lives of survivors.

In a breakthrough study published in January 2022 in the American Journal of Transplantation, UAB researchers proved that genetically modified pig kidneys can be transplanted into humans.

Grandview Medical Center

Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham is a 434-bed tertiary care hospital that offers diverse specialties from heart care to labor and delivery to robotic-assisted surgery for patients in the city and surrounding communities. Specialty units include a Level III trauma center, a certified Chest Pain Center, a nationally recognized stroke center, a cardiac cath lab, and neonatal, surgical and medical intensive care.

In May, Grandview opened a 12,500-square-foot freestanding emergency department in Trussville.

In November 2021, the National Pancreas Foundation (NPF) approved Grandview Cancer Center as an NPF Center. The recognition came after a rigorous audit to determine that the Cancer Center meets the criteria developed by a task force of subject matter experts and patient advocates — such as suitable numbers of physicians in related specialties and patient support programs.

Brookwood Baptist Medical Center

In March, Brookwood Baptist Medical Center, a 645-bed acute care facility with 1,375 employees, celebrated its 50th anniversary. “This is a special place,” said CEO Jeremy Clark, who was born at Brookwood and grew up in Birmingham. “Being here for the 50th anniversary after being born here is an indescribable honor for me, and I’m so grateful to everyone who has passed through our doors the last 50 years. This celebration is a testament to the work our staff puts in every day, and the future looks just as bright as the first 50 years.”

This spring Brookwood opened three facilities — its Koning Vera Breast CT, which is smaller and faster than full-body CT scanners but able to produce a 3D image of the breast; its $30 million operating room addition and its two new cardiac catheterizaion labs.

Princeton Baptist Medical Center

Princeton Baptist Medical Center celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2022. The 499-bed facility offers a full range of services, and has 944 employees.

In February, the Princeton heart team completed its 500th Watchman procedure. The implant is a one-time minimally invasive procedure for people with certain types of atrial fibrillation.

Ascension St. Vincent’s

Ascension St. Vincent’s Birmingham is an all-private room, 409-bed acute care hospital that offers services ranging from robotics surgery to the state’s first heart valve clinic, plus an array of other services.

Also in Birmingham, Ascension St. Vincent’s East offers primary care plus services ranging from ER and cancer care to sleep disorders..

In May, Ascension St. Vincent’s made Newsweek’s 2023 list of America’s Best Maternity Hospitals.

UAB Medical West

Medical West Hospital Authority, an affiliate of UAB Health System, broke ground in November 2021 on a 412,000-square-foot, nine-story hospital with 200 beds and a 127,000-square-foot, five-story medical office building in McCalla. The full-service hospital is scheduled to open in 2024.

Encompass Health Lakeshore Rehabilitation Hospital

The Birmingham facility houses a team of experts to provide rehabilitiation for patients recovering from stroke, brain injury and other complex neurological and orthopedic conditions.

The hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Disease-Specific Care Certification in stroke rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation and hip fracture rehabilitation.

Birmingham VA Medical Center

The Birmingham Veterans Affairs Healthcare System celebrates 70 years of service to veterans in Alabama this year.

In addition to providing primary care and specialty health services — cardiology, mental health services, neurology, oncology, hospice and palliative care — the center is a progressive teaching facility accredited by The Joint Commission and partners with the UAB School of Medicine, Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy and Auburn University School of Pharmacy.

This article appears in the October 2023 issue of Business Alabama.

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