Officials from Infirmary Health, based in Mobile, Alabama, and the UAB Health System, based in Birmingham, announced a new strategic and operational affiliation during a news conference in Mobile today.
“The affiliation links two outstanding health care organizations,” said Will Ferniany, Ph.D., CEO of the UAB Health System. “This clinical partnership will build upon the strengths of both Infirmary Health and the UAB Health System, leading to better health care for the residents of the Mobile Bay region and across Alabama.”
“Today’s announcement of the Infirmary Health/UAB Health System affiliation brings together two of the largest health care providers in the state,” said Mark Nix, president and CEO of Infirmary Health. “This affiliation will extend the clinical expertise and medical research capabilities of UAB to southwest Alabama, where Infirmary Health is the region’s leading health care provider. Together, these two organizations will bring UAB clinical trials and research to patients currently served by Infirmary Health.”
The two health systems have identified a number of areas of potential collaboration, including the growing field of telemedicine to extend medical expertise across the state. Other areas of collaboration under future consideration include neurology, neurosurgery, neonatology, oncology, and ear, eye, nose and throat medical services.
“We are already in conversations to expand the presence of UAB specialty physicians in Infirmary Health facilities to cover underserved medical specialties within our organization and throughout our communities,” Nix said.
As part of the affiliation, UAB and Infirmary Health will work together to create exposure to potential medical residency rotations or additional residency positions for existing programs. More residents training in Alabama translates into increased opportunities to retain these physicians in Alabama. The affiliation will also link UAB and community physicians for increased opportunities for collaboration regarding quality patient care.
“We were committed to identifying a clinical partner in the Mobile Bay region and believe that Infirmary Health will be an outstanding fit for our mission and aims,” Ferniany said. “UAB does certain procedures — in cancer and transplantation, for example — that are not available anywhere else in Alabama. This affiliation will improve access for patients in Mobile to those procedures at UAB when necessary, while continuing to get the bulk of their medical care at home.”
The arrangement provides the opportunity to show benefit in supply chain savings and revenue cycle management, along with recruitment and incentive programs for medical students and residents.
“The opportunities this affiliation brings to southwest Alabama are significant and almost limitless,” Nix said. “Health care organizations’ pooling resources and working together to improve care and control costs is the future of health care.”
Infirmary Health is a five-hospital system headquartered in Mobile. Representing more than 700 active physicians on the medical staff and 5,600 employees, it includes Mobile Infirmary, Thomas Hospital, North Baldwin Infirmary, Atmore Community Hospital and Infirmary LTAC Hospital.
The UAB Health System is a $3.2 billion organization with more than 2,000 medical staff members and 17,750 employees in its hospitals, including UAB Hospital, UAB Hospital-Highlands, UAB Callahan Eye Hospital, and authority relationships at Medical West and Baptist Health Montgomery. UABHS is also committed to improving rural health care and manages Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital in Demopolis, LV Stabler Memorial Hospital in Greenville and John Paul Jones Hospital in Camden. With this announcement, Infirmary Health joins UAB in an affiliation relationship along with Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital in Florence, Northeast Regional Medical Center in Anniston and Russell Medical in Alexander City.