Spotlight on Mobile County: Health Care

USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute.

USA Health

USA Health is the upper Gulf Coast region’s only academic health system, with a three-part commitment to providing excellent clinical care, educating the next generation of physicians and other care providers, and research. It is an essential safety-net health care organization, providing specialty services that are not available anywhere else locally.

USA Health has the region’s only Level I trauma center — the $20 million Fanny Meisler Trauma Center opened in late 2020, more than doubling the size of the USA Health trauma center from 11,000 to 27,000 square feet and moving the emergency department from 22 private and semi-private exam rooms to 41 private exam beds.

The hospital also features the Arnold Luterman Regional Burn Center, the Level III Hollis Wiseman Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Arlene Mitchell Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, the Mitchell Cancer Institute academic cancer center, comprehensive stroke center and unmatched services in the treatment and care of people with digestive disorders, high-risk pregnancies, and specialty care for children and newborns who are critically ill.

The expanding clinical faculty at the USA College of Medicine and a growing number of community-based physicians and other providers on staff combine to form one of the largest multi-specialty practices in the upper Gulf Coast region. USA Health serves an area of about 200 miles around Mobile.

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USA Health’s two hospitals — University Hospital and Children’s and Women’s Hospital — are at or approaching capacity regularly. Bed capacity at University Hospital was expanded by 50%, and more space is being converted.

Other recent projects include:

  • A new medical clinic in midtown Mobile that provides a home for some of the system’s endocrinology, ENT and facial plastic surgery providers and specialty services.
  • Work is underway in west Mobile on Hillcrest Road next to the USA campus for a complex that will house a free-standing emergency department, diagnostic imaging center and physician office building to meet the growing needs in that area of the city. This will be a fully functional 24/7 emergency department, and the imaging capabilities on site will include CT scan, MRI, X-ray, ultrasound and mammography. It should be completed this year.
  • A USA Health Mapp Family Campus is underway east of Fairhope in Baldwin County. The Louis and Melinda Mapp family donated eight acres for the project, and it will bring residents more convenient access to specialty care, provide training and education, wellness, prevention and nutrition. The campus will include walking paths and water elements. The campus is planned to include primary care physicians, USA Health subspecialty physicians and a full range of imaging and diagnostic services. USA Health also has applied with the state for a Certificate of Need to build a free-standing ambulatory surgery center on the campus.
Infirmary Health’s Mobile Infirmary.

Infirmary Health

Infirmary Health is the largest non-governmental, not-for-profit health care system in Alabama. The system has four acute care hospitals, two post-acute care facilities, two freestanding emergency departments, more than 60 medical clinics and three ambulatory surgery centers.

Infirmary Health employs more than 6,000 individuals, almost 94% of whom reside in Mobile or Baldwin counties, and has more than 700 physicians on the medical staff. It is the largest private employer in the region. On average, it sees more than 1.3 million patient visits per year, including more than 111,000 emergency visits per year.

Infirmary Health treated more COVID-19 inpatients than any other health system in the region.

Infirmary Health serves 11 counties across the Gulf Coast region and provides more than $40 million per year in uncompensated medical care. Mobile Infirmary, the system’s flagship hospital, opened in 1910 and is among leaders in the state for surgical volume. Infirmary Health was the first health care system in the region to acquire the da Vinci Surgical System, and the surgical programs at Mobile Infirmary and Thomas Hospital continue to provide the most comprehensive surgical care in the state. Today, Mobile Infirmary houses the only robotic-assisted Bariatric Surgery Epicenter in the state.

Infirmary Health also offers the region’s most advanced cardiovascular program. Mobile Infirmary houses the region’s only hybrid OR/cath lab and the region’s first comprehensive structural heart program.

In addition, Mobile Infirmary is a Joint Commission-certified Primary Stroke Center. Thomas Hospital recently earned the designation as the fourth-largest cardiovascular program in the state, along with having the only open-heart surgery facility in Baldwin County. In late 2019, Cardio Thoracic & Vascular Surgical Associates joined Infirmary Health, bringing the majority of the physician practice market share for cardiovascular services under Infirmary Health’s umbrella.

In October 2019, Mobile Infirmary opened an 11,000-square-foot Senior Behavioral Health unit that provides services to adults age 55 and up. This is the only geriatric inpatient unit of its kind in Mobile County. Mobile Infirmary also added 3D mammography to its breast center in late 2020.

Also in February 2020, Mobile Infirmary opened a freestanding ER in Saraland. The 22,000-square-foot Mobile Infirmary Emergency Saraland facility is attached to the existing Infirmary Medical Plaza in Saraland. It has 11 exam rooms, two trauma bays and an in-house lab and imaging department equipped for MRI, CT, X-ray and ultrasound.

Ascension Providence Hospital

Springhill Medical Center

Springhill Medical Center, with 1,200 employees, is a 263-bed acute-care facility. Since 1975, Springhill has grown and expanded its services in southwest Alabama while maintaining more nurses per patient for a personal approach and 1-to-1 nurse/patient ratio for childbirth services.

Today, SMC includes the hospital, a comprehensive heart center, senior residence, cancer center, orthopedic surgery center, sleep medicine center, wound care and hyperbaric medicine, inpatient rehab unit, newly renovated labor and delivery suites, a newly expanded emergency department, a retail pharmacy, a primary care physician practice and additional joint ventures.

Surgical services include inpatient, outpatient, open-heart, cranial and robotic surgery.

Springhill is unique among area hospitals because all physicians on staff in the emergency department are board certified in emergency medicine.

Springhill is a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Blue Distinction Center for cardiac care, recognizing patient safety and health outcomes. In addition, Springhill has Blue Distinction honors in cardiac care, knee and hip replacement, and spine surgery.

Springhill also expanded and upgraded its emergency department to better protect staff and patients from the spread of COVID-19, allowing patients who may be infected to await results in an isolated negative pressure area that can hold up to eight patients — the Rapid Treat & Release area. Patients requiring further testing or admission are moved to another special area away from other patients.

Springhill Medical Center

Ascension Providence

Providence has been part of the Catholic health care system Ascension for 21 years, but this year was renamed as Ascension Providence to better identify with the national system and its faith-based mission.

It is a 349-bed facility with advanced capabilities in heart and vascular services, women’s services, neurosciences, orthopedic surgery and emergency care. The hospital and the physician network employ 2,300 people.

By mid-April of 2021, the Ascension Providence team had treated more than 1,200 patients admitted for COVID-19.

The hospital received national recognition this year for the quality and safety of the care it provides. In April, the hospital earned a top safety grade of “A” from the Leapfrog group, an independent watchdog organization that assigns a single grade to general hospitals across the country. The safety grade is based on a hospital’s performance on 27 measures related to preventing medical errors, injuries, accidents, infections and other harms to patients in their care. CMS also recognized Providence as a 4-Star Hospital.

In 2020, Blue Cross and Blue Shield recognized Ascension Providence as a Blue Distinction Center+ for total hip and knee surgery, spine surgery and cardiac care. In addition to quality care, Blue Distinction Centers are more than 20% more cost-efficient.

In 2021, the hospital received the Women’s Choice Award for cancer care, patient safety and stroke care.

EastPointe Hospital

Bay Pointe Hospital

These hospitals in Mobile are a division of AltaPointe Health. EastPointe specializes in treating a wide variety of mental health disorders for adults 19 and older. BayPointe treats children and adolescents.

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