Spotlight on Jefferson County: Health Care

UAB Medical Center is joined by a number of other hospitals in serving Jefferson County's health care needs.

The UAB Medical Center

UAB Health System

On its website, UAB Medicine’s charge is clear: “UAB Medicine’s mission is to deliver world-class patient care to the residents of Alabama and beyond, advance medical science through pioneering research, and train the sharpest medical minds.”

In carrying out that mission, UAB has garnered numerous accolades over the years. U.S. News & World Report lists UAB Hospital as the best in Alabama. The magazine has also ranked eight UAB medical specialties among the top 50 programs of their kind in the nation. In addition, the Women’s Choice Award, an independent referral source for women, recently tapped UAB Hospital with its 2021 America’s Best Hospitals designation for outstanding clinical care in specialties, including breast, cancer and obstetrics care.

Moreover, Becker’s Hospital Review lists UAB among the top 150 places for health care employees to work. UAB Hospital alone employed 10,643 people in 2019-2020.

Besides being a giant in health care, UAB is also a major research institution and is ranked at number 27 among universities receiving National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. UAB has received more than $325 million in NIH research funding with about $270 million going to the UAB School of Medicine. In other recent developments:

  • The Vascular Quality Initiative awarded UAB Medicine’s Division of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy three stars, the highest rating for medical centers that participate in the national initiative to improve care for cardiovascular patients.
  • This year the American College of Emergency Physicians designated the UAB Hospital-Highlands Emergency Department a Level 1 Geriatric Emergency Department. The designation makes UAB the Southeast’s first and Alabama’s only accredited geriatric emergency department.
  • This year UAB Hospital teamed up with the Jefferson County Department of Health, the cities of Birmingham and Hoover, and Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency to deliver free COVID vaccinations at several locations.
  • The Alabama Department of Public Health awarded UAB close to $2 million to create the Alabama Regional Center for Infection Prevention and Control.
  • The UAB Physician Assistant Studies program received a $1.49 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to increase mental health training for students and boost minority participation.
  • After nearly 13 years on the job, CEO William Ferniany, Ph.D., will retire. Medical School Dean Selwyn Vickers, M.D, will add hospital CEO duties to his current role.

Children’s of Alabama

Children’s of Alabama, located in Birmingham, has been in operation since 1911. Today, it is the sole children-only hospital in the state. It is ranked among the nation’s top children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, with nine of its programs, including cancer, cardiology and heart surgery and neonatology, ranked among the top 50 programs in the nation. The hospital has 332 active beds, and in 2020, fielded 554,725 outpatient visits, 22,429 surgeries and 48,924 emergency department visits.

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In 2020, Children’s of Alabama added 10 beds to its Behavioral Health unit. The hospital also debuted its new Behavioral Health Partial Hospitalization Program.

Grandview Medical Center has 400 patient beds.

Grandview Medical Center

Grandview Medical Center on Highway 280 houses more than 400 patient beds, a Level III trauma care unit and health care teams specializing in cardiology, obstetrics, neonatal care, surgical healthcare services and intensive care. Grandview also has a certified chest pain center, stroke center and cardiac cath lab.

Last fall, the hospital announced construction of the new Grandview Physicians Plaza II medical office building just off Highway 280. The seven-story, 200,000-square-foot structure will include a parking deck and connect to other buildings on the campus. The Daniel Corp., along with Seavest Healthcare Properties, will own and develop the building, while Grandview leases space as an anchor tenant.

Brookwood Baptist Medical Center

Brookwood Baptist Medical Center in Homewood, with 595 beds and approximately 1,729 employees, offers a full array of services that include cardiothoracic and vascular surgery, cardiac rehabilitation, oncology, obstetrics, orthopedics and bariatric surgery. Brookwood also provides around the clock emergency room services. Brookwood served more than 85,000 patients in 2020. Recent developments include:

  • This summer readers of Birmingham Parent magazine tapped Brookwood Baptist’s Women’s Medical Center as their “Favorite Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.”
  • In 2020, Brookwood Baptist Medical Center won the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With the Guidelines Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for meeting high standards in the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients.

Princeton Baptist Medical Center

Princeton Baptist Medical Center, located on Birmingham’s west side, offers cardiac care, orthopedics and psychiatry, among other services. The hospital also houses a sleep center and a Comprehensive Bariatrics Center for weight loss.

Princeton Baptist recently became the first hospital in Alabama to deploy the 7D Surgical FLASH Navigation System for spinal and cranial operations. This new system is an upgrade from fluoroscopy, giving surgeons a radiation-free tool
for quicker and more accurate spinal implant procedures.

In 2020, Newsweek listed Princeton Baptist on its list of “Best Maternity Care Hospitals.” The designation recognizes hospitals that provide outstanding care to obstetrics patients and babies according to the 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Survey by the Leapfrog Group.

Ascension St. Vincent’s Birmingham/Ascension St. Vincent’s East

The Daughters of Charity founded Ascension St. Vincent’s hospital in 1898. Today, with hospitals and clinics around the county, Ascension St. Vincent’s Birmingham and Ascension St. Vincent’s East provide patients with a host of medical specialties such as cardiology, surgical services, oncology, orthopedics and women’s health care.

Ascension St. Vincent’s is also home to the state’s first heart valve clinic. In addition, Ascension St. Vincent’s has received numerous accolades over the years, including “Best Hospital to Have a Baby” and “Best Birthing Suites.”

In 2020, Ascension St. Vincent’s entered a strategic alliance with UAB Health Systems with the goal of tackling some of the state’s most stubborn threats to health and making health care more accessible to rural areas.

UAB Medical West

UAB Medical West in Bessemer is a UAB Health System affiliate that provides emergency medicine, surgical services, wound care, diagnostic imaging, cardiac rehabilitation, endoscopy, rehabilitation and women services, among others. It also operates primary care clinics in Bessemer, Hueytown and Hoover, as well as a freestanding emergency department off Highway 150.

Plans are now in the works to construct an upgraded, $300 million replacement hospital in McCalla.

Encompass Health Lakeshore Rehabilitation Hospital

Encompass Health Lakeshore Rehabilitation Hospital, headquartered in Homewood, provides care for patients recovering from spinal cord injuries, stroke, hip frac-tures and other orthopedic injuries and neurological conditions.

Encompass also has specialists in pain and arthritis management and balance and vestibular rehabilitation.

Birmingham VA Medical Center

The Birmingham VA Medical Center first opened its doors in 1953. Today the medical center provides former servicemen and women a comprehensive array of services, from primary care, emergency medicine and geriatric and palliative care to social and mental health services.

Currently, construction is underway to build a new VA mental health clinic on Crestwood Boulevard in Birmingham. The new $30 million, 60,000-square-foot facility will house all VA mental health services to make room for more services downtown.

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