Governor, mayor welcome new health clinic to West End

By Ariel Worthy

The Birmingham Times

(From left) State Sen. Rodger Smitherman, Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington, Commission President Jimmie Stephens, Commissioner Sandra Little Brown, Governor Robert Bentley, Dr. John Waits, Commissioner Joe Knight and Mayor William Bell. (Ariel Worthy, The Birmingham Times)
(From left) State Sen. Rodger Smitherman, Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington, Commission President Jimmie Stephens, Commissioner Sandra Little Brown, Governor Robert Bentley, Dr. John Waits, Commissioner Joe Knight and Mayor William Bell. (Ariel Worthy, The Birmingham Times)

 

Alabama’s governor, Birmingham’s mayor, Jefferson County’s president pro-tem and a host of other dignitaries on Wednesday helped cut the ribbon for The Cahaba Medical Care clinic on Tuscaloosa Avenue in West End.

Governor Robert Bentley said Alabama residents deserve quality healthcare.

“This facility does that,” he said at the ribbon cutting. “I know what we’re talking about now in Washington is health insurance, but we need to make sure that it translates into good, quality healthcare because it’s healthcare that makes the difference, not the insurance.

Mayor William Bell said this facility will help relieve overcrowded emergency rooms.

“The problem [at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital] was we had too many people in our emergency room that should not have been in there, but that was the only way they could receive medical treatment . . . with Cahaba Medical we’re answering that call,” he said.

County Commissioner Sandra Little Brown said her “number one priority” since the closing of inpatient care unit at Cooper Green Mercy was to bring healthcare services to citizens in the community where they live.

“By partnering with providers such as Cahaba Medical Care we are able to provide quality health care to the community that is affordable for the indigent and all the residents,” Brown said. “We pledged to make lemonade out of lemons. This is a promise made to the community and a promise kept.”

Birmingham City Councilor Sheila Tyson said she wants the facility to transform the area.

“Everywhere people are we are trying to make them aware that this clinic is here,” Tyson said. “We will be doing a huge health fair where we can open and reveal all of the services that Cahaba Medical Care has. We want everyone in this area to know what they have to offer.”

State Sen. Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham, agreed the facility would touch a number of lives.

“I live in this community, and I understand the importance of having this clinic in this area,” he said. “This clinic touches a geographical area of 65,000 people.”

Services include family health, urgent care, pediatrics, gynecological services, chronic disease management, sports, school and job physicals, preventative care and cancer screenings.