The University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System and Infirmary Health are set to revolutionize cancer care in southern Alabama, Southeast Mississippi and the Florida panhandle through a …
The University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System and Infirmary Health are set to revolutionize cancer care in southern Alabama, Southeast Mississippi and the Florida panhandle through a collaborative venture aimed at delivering comprehensive services.
The result of meticulous planning by the leadership of both organizations, this partnership between the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), one of three doctoral research universities in the University of Alabama System, and Infirmary Health seeks to alleviate the burden of cancer, elevate outcomes and facilitate cancer scientific discoveries across an expanded geographical footprint according to a news release.
In the release, Mark Nix, President, and CEO of Infirmary Health expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration.
“As Infirmary Health developed its cancer program, Infirmary Cancer Care, we wanted to have a meaningful and care altering partnership that would enable us to continue to offer the highest level of care for our patients,” Nix said. “Collaboration and affiliation with the UAB O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the few National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the country, makes this goal possible, and we are confident our collaborative future with UAB will further our organization’s vision of being the first choice for healthcare in our region.”
The UAB O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated as the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center in Alabama, coupled with Infirmary Health being the largest integrated health system in South Alabama and along the central Gulf Coast, ensures a blending of expertise, resources, and services. This collaboration will foster joint efforts in clinical care, basic translational care services, prevention, and early cancer detection for both existing and new patients.
Barry Sleckman, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the UAB O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center, highlighted the mission to provide NCI-designated level cancer care across Alabama and bordering states.
“At UAB, our mission is to strive to offer NCI-designated level of cancer care to anyone with cancer in the State of Alabama and bordering states, and this new partnership enables us to do just that,” Sleckman said. “Partnering with Infirmary Cancer Care allows us to extend our impact and provide our expertise to a broader patient population and to expand access to cancer clinical trials while allowing patients to remain close to home. Their knowledge of the local healthcare landscape will be invaluable as we jointly serve patients in the region.”
Patients will continue receiving care at Infirmary Cancer Care’s locations in Mobile and Baldwin Counties, but the partnership opens doors to expanded treatment options, including access to over 200 clinical trials and the resources of a NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center.
Dawn Bulgarella, CEO of the UAB Health System, emphasized the partnership's significance in extending UAB's impact statewide.
“Partnering with Infirmary Health in this capacity allows us the ability to extend our impact statewide, which is paramount to our mission here at UAB Medicine,” Bulgarella said. “We look forward to a prosperous, collaborative partnership with Infirmary Health and together continuing to enhance the level of cancer care that patients have access to in our state.”
“This partnership is monumental for healthcare in Alabama and the cancer patients of our region,” said Furhan Yunus, M.D., Director of Infirmary Cancer Care. “Through our collaboration, Infirmary Cancer Care patients will now have access to more than 200 clinical trials and the resources of a NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center close to home. This will not only improve the outcomes for our patients but also their quality of life during their cancer treatment and beyond.”
The collaboration ensures a seamless provision of clinical services under existing licenses and legal entities for both organizations. Ownership structures remain unchanged as a result of this partnership.