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UAB Health and Ascension St. Vincent’s form strategic alliance

Friday, the University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System (UABHS) and Ascension St. Vincent’s are entering into a strategic alliance.

The two hospital systems announced that the alliance will increase access to high-quality, innovative medical care through multiple outlets and health programs.

Pending appropriate approvals, including the approval of the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees, the new strategic alliance will enable the two entities, which have a long history of collaboration, to further enhance patient care and address Alabama’s most challenging health threats.

The two nonprofit companies announced that the new alliance will utilize innovative strategies to address health disparities, mental and behavioral health, and diabetes, with an emphasis on expanded access for poor, vulnerable and rural populations.

“As health care continues to evolve, it is important for health systems to work with each other to provide innovative, person-centered care,” said UAB Health System CEO Will Ferniany. “It has always been our shared commitment with Ascension St. Vincent’s to remain on the forefront of this vital health care transformation.

“Ascension St. Vincent’s and the UAB Health System have a longstanding, very positive relationship,” said Ascension St. Vincent’s Health CEO Jason Alexander. “We look forward to continuing to build on the complementary strengths of both organizations to serve the increasing needs of residents across our state.

“Through closer alignment of each organization’s many locations, specialties and expertise, the health systems will strive to better accommodate patients,” Ferniany said.

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“These positive changes will strengthen our ability to better serve our community,” Alexander said. “Our expectation is that, through this alliance, both the UAB Health System and Ascension St. Vincent’s will be better positioned to carry out our missions.”

UABHS and Ascension St. Vincent’s leaders both say that the new alliance will enhances their longstanding relationship and affirms each organization’s ability to help patients receive the right care in the right setting at the right time, including those who need highly specialized care.

Ascension St. Vincent’s and UABHS have worked together successfully in many ways, including neonatal and anesthesia services. Currently, Ascension St. Vincent’s facilities receive admissions from UAB’s Gardendale Emergency Department and UAB faculty perform surgery at Ascension St. Vincent’s One Nineteen.

Alexander said that a closer alignment with the UABHS supports Ascension St. Vincent’s ability to achieve its strategic goals for the benefit of everyone the health system is privileged to serve.

Ascension St. Vincent’s joins a growing number of health care organizations to expand collaborations with the UAB Health System to improve health care delivery to Alabamians.

UABHS facilities will retain the UABHS or UAB Medicine brands. Ascension St. Vincent’s facilities will be Ascension St. Vincent’s. The two entities stress that this is a strategic alliance and not a merger.

Economic developer Dr. Nicole Jones told the Alabama Political Reporter, “The strategic alliance will allow both entities to put patients’ health and wellness first, which will help improve the quality of life of patients in Birmingham and central Alabama.”

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UAB is the largest employer in the state and is already by far the largest healthcare provider. The entities they bring in to the alliance include: UABHS; UAB Hospital; University of Alabama Health Services Foundation; Medical West Hospital; Callahan Eye Hospital, Clinics and Ophthalmology Services Foundation; Gardendale Freestanding Emergency Department (FED) and Clinics; Highway 150 Clinics and Medical West Freestanding Emergency Department; and Acton Road. Ascension St. Vincent’s brings a number of hospitals and clinics into this alliance. They include: Ascension St. Vincent’s Birmingham; Ascension St. Vincent’s East; Ascension St. Vincent’s One Nineteen; Ascension St. Vincent’s St. Clair; Ascension St. Vincent’s Chilton; Ascension St. Vincent’s Blount; Ascension St. Vincent’s Trussville; and Ascension St. Vincent’s Medical Group. In addition while the Cooper Green Authority initiative is not part of the alliance, operations will be coordinated to enhance services for Cooper Green patients.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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