By Erica Wright
The Birmingham Times
Alabama Regional Medical Services (ARMS) believes in welcoming residents with open arms and that’s what will happen at the medical provider’s first stand-alone pediatric clinic in North Birmingham on Saturday, said officials with the clinic.
ARMS will host a grand opening on August 10 from 12-2 p.m. at 3200 27th Street North, Suite C, Birmingham, AL 35207.
“We want the community to recognize us as a place that they go to for their children’s care and to eventually become the prominent pediatric practice in North Birmingham,” said Dr. Courtney Burrell, a pediatrician at the clinic. “. . . This gives the families more comfort knowing that the clinic is dedicated to them and their children.”
The clinic allows doctors and other staff “to focus on providing adequate care to the children of the community,” Burrell added. “Our motto of ‘Welcoming You With Open Arms’ is the message we want to put out to the community — that we are here for them and they are welcome to see us for any of their healthcare needs.”
The grand opening, which will include free school supplies, is an invitation for the community to learn more about ARMS.
“When the health department’s [clinic in the area closed down] . . . there was a void of healthcare in this community all together and this is a huge geographical area” to provide medical services, said Anthony Gardner Chief Executive Officer of ARMS.
The geographical area covers not only North Birmingham but also Vice Hill Housing Community in Collegeville, Acipco-Finley and Harriman Park, he said. “Having a stand-alone pediatric clinic is going to be huge for this community and there’s a lot of school age kids in this community with Norwood Elementary and Carver High School and Hudson K-8 School, so there are a lot of school age kids in close proximity to this center,” Gardner said.
The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and serves about 12-15 patients per day and has two full time health providers, two part time health providers, three medical assistants, one interpreter and two front desk personnel. The clinic also offers same day appointments for patients and is convenient for families in the community close by who can visit without having to leave work or coming to the Metro Health Center in downtown Birmingham,” said Gardner.
“We are community based,” Gardner said. “We see patients regardless of their ability to pay and we break down all barriers as it relates to anyone who needs to be seen. We see a patient regardless of their nationality. Homeless patients don’t have a problem being seen at one of our healthcare clinics because we are funded by the federal government, so not only is it our mission to provide quality healthcare to the community but it’s mandated that we give those services. As part of that mandate, we have to comply with certain clinical quality measures and we have to track those measures daily.”
Burrell said, “I think the intimacy and the small nature of our clinic is also a factor in what sets us apart from other organizations. Sometimes families feel like they get lost in the fray but I pride myself on pretty much knowing all of the patients that I see and I can recognize those families just because I pay attention to my patients.”
ARMS specializes in an array of services such as gynecology, behavioral health and pediatric health care. They have been helping residents in the Blount, Jefferson, St. Clair and Shelby counties since 1983.
“ARMS is a Federally Qualified Health Center and the basic purpose is to provide primary healthcare and related services such as pediatric, podiatry, lab, OB-GYN, X-ray services to the community,” said Gardner. “Most of the people we serve in the community are uninsured or under insured and a lot of them have Medicaid or Medicare and if they don’t have insurance, they can receive services from our providers at a discounted rate based on certain criteria.”
Seven ARMS clinics are located throughout the city including ARMS Midtown, Crestwood Medical Center, Ensley Health Center, Metro Health Center, Northside Health Center, Northside Dental Clinic and the new pediatric clinic now in North Birmingham. They also have a Saturday only clinic for the homeless at the downtown Health Center and will begin offering a clinic in Wenonah High School beginning August 8, when schools open.
Through a partnership with the City of Birmingham’s Office of Economic Development and the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, ARMs recently moved into the old Jefferson County Department of Health building on 27th Street North in Birmingham which serves as a clinic as well as the organization’s headquarters.
For more information on the pediatric clinic call 205-731-2245 during the day or 205-941-4690 after hours or visit www.alabamaarms.org.