Healthcare in Birmingham
Residents of the Birmingham area have easy access to several excellent medical centers that offer high-quality, dependable healthcare. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area is a renowned healthcare and biotechnology research center, with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) at its nucleus. UAB currently has $497,693,407 in active research contracts and grants, and its healthcare programs consistently receive stellar rankings in US News and World Report’s “Best Graduate Programs” and “America’s Best Hospitals” annual reports.
The UAB Health System is internationally renowned for its expert physicians and groundbreaking medical research, and is Alabama’s principal tertiary healthcare provider, serving local, regional, national, and international patients with state-of-the-science treatment modalities. The cornerstone of the UAB Health System is the UAB Hospital, a 900-bed facility that is widely known for its excellent medical education and innovative research activities. Its new, 885,000-foot, 11-story facility opened in November 2004 and boasts 37 operating suites, two procedure rooms, three medical surgical units, four intensive care units—trauma and burn intensive care, surgical intensive care, neuroscience intensive care, and cardiovascular intensive care—and a 38,000 square foot emergency department. The new hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art digital and wireless technology. Operating rooms contain voice-activated video technology, allowing the surgeon to view x-rays, ECGs or pathology specimens without having to break scrub or leave the room. Among other improvements, a new telemetry system will allow medical staff to monitor patients as they are transported to various areas throughout the hospital.
The UAB Health System’s network of care also includes several research and treatment centers, mental health and rehabilitation hospitals, wellness programs and more throughout the state of Alabama. UAB Medical West, a 300-bed healthcare facility, offers medical services that range from a 24-hour emergency department to a diagnostic, cardiac catheterization laboratory.
The Birmingham VA Medical Center provides primary, secondary and tertiary care to nearly 30,000 veterans that are served annually in its 313-bed facility located in the historic Southside district of the city. In nearby Homewood, the Brookwood Medical Center provides 586 beds and is renowned for its excellence in major specialties such as cardiovascular medicine and surgery, cancer, neurology and neurosurgery, psychiatric services and emergency services. Its staff of 750 board certified physicians represent every major specialty.
Carraway Methodist Medical Center is one of Alabama’s leading healthcare institutions, with a $100 million investment in medical technology. Located on a large campus near downtown Birmingham, the medical center boasts a large staff of expert physicians who are among the region’s best, many considered pioneers in their field. Young patients receive quality care at Children’s Hospital of Alabama, a private, not-for-profit hospital that has become the 15th largest pediatric medical center in the country. Established in 1911, the Children’s Hospital, a 225-bed facility, boasts one of the largest pediatric outpatient centers in the nation and is home to Children’s Center for Research and Innovation, where researchers and medical professors are working toward both cures and prevention for pediatric illness and disease.
Residents who would otherwise not be able to afford healthcare may attend Cooper Green Hospital, an acute care teaching facility located on the Southside of Birmingham. Specialty services include general surgery, urology, orthopedics, ENT, ophthalmology, obstetrics and gynecology, cardiology, pulmonary, nephrology, hematology/oncology, and a number of special programs such as the Women’s Health Center and the TeensFirst Clinic. World-class vision care is provided at the Callahan Eye Foundation at UAB, one of the few facilities in the world entirely dedicated to advancements in ophthalmology. It is in constant demand not only for its 24-hour eye emergency center, but also for its advanced retinal procedures, corneal transplants, cataract extractions, laser vision correction and diagnostic technology.
HealthSouth Medical Center in Birmingham is one of five acute care hospitals in HealthSouth’s national network and has received accreditation with commendation from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). The hospital has 219 licensed beds, with more than 800 employees, 20 operating rooms, two endoscopy units and a 21-bed rehabilitation unit. HealthSouth Medical Center offers specialty services and programs that have given the facility prominence worldwide. Many of the world’s well-known sports celebrities and dignitaries have been treated at the medical center. HealthSouth also maintains the HealthSouth Lakeshore Rehabilitation Hospital, a comprehensive 100-bed medical rehabilitation hospital serving both inpatient and outpatient needs, and HealthSouth Metro West Hospital in Fairfield, among other facilities.
One of Birmingham’s newest hospitals is Medical Center East, a 282-bed acute care facility located on 300 wooded acres. Medical Center East, the flagship of the Eastern Health System, Inc., boasts more than 200 physicians in 65 specialties and offers the highest level of diagnostic and treatment technologies. It offers premier programs in primary care, orthopedics, obstetrics, cardiovascular care, cancer treatment and emergency care, as well as comprehensive services in diabetes, endoscopy, continence, same day surgery, digestive disorders, sleep disorders and bariatrics surgery.
St. Vincent’s Hospital, the oldest hospital in Birmingham, is a not-for-profit hospital that has been dedicated to the betterment of health in Birmingham for more than a century. Founded by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent’s DePaul in 1898, this Catholic healthcare facility is a member of Ascension Health Corporation and has 338 licensed beds. St. Vincent’s offers a variety of services including oncology, cardiology, women’s and children’s services, orthopedics, neurology, community and corporate wellness services and surgical services. Outreach activities include Mission Days, offering free mammograms in low-income housing communities; the St. Louise/United Way Fund, supporting United Way agencies; and support of special events that promote research and awareness of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and more. A leader in patient satisfaction, St. Vincent’s consistently ranks among the most preferred hospitals in consumer research.
Other reputable hospitals located near Birmingham include Baptist Medical Center Montclair and Baptist Medical Center Princeton, Medical Center Blount in Oneonta, St. Clair Regional Hospital in Pell City, and Baptist Medical Center in Shelby and Walker. Hundreds of clinics, medical centers and private medical offices are also available to ensure the health of all of Birmingham’s residents.