Children’s of Alabama: the 10th busiest pediatric center in America

Mike Warren
Michael Warren, CEO of Children’s of Alabama

ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham.

Today’s guest blogger is Mike Warren.  If you’d like to be a guest blogger, please click here.

After having been at Children’s of Alabama for over eight years, I want to share some thoughts.

Over 100 years ago a small group of dedicated volunteers recognized a great community need and began what would become Children’s of Alabama.

I think our organization today would make them extremely proud as we have grown to be a tremendous asset for the health of children throughout Alabama and the surrounding area. 

Although Children’s is located in the heart of the UAB medical center, it is a separate, independent not for profit like 45 other pediatric centers around the country.

It’s clear that UAB has been critical to our region, but the UAB-Children’s duo has been absolutely electrifying!

This may be difficult to comprehend, but even though Birmingham is the 48th largest metropolitan area in the U.S., Children’s is the 10th busiest pediatric center in America–with over 650,000 outpatient visits and over 14,000 inpatient admissions each year.

If you or your child needs medical attention, Birmingham is where you want to be.

With the construction of the Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children, our 2012 expansion and replacement facility, Children’s added cardiovascular surgery and solid organ transplantation to the services offered and became a truly comprehensive pediatric medical center.

Our medical staff is open to all qualified providers but through a long-standing affiliation agreement with the UAB School of Medicine, many of the physicians working at Children’s are UAB faculty in pediatrics, surgery, psychiatry or related fields.

Each year, Children’s treats numerous patients from every county in Alabama.  We take our mission very seriously and treat all children without regard to their ability to pay.  With more than two-thirds of our patients eligible for Medicaid, the future of Children’s is closely tied to the State of Alabama’s ability and willingness to adequately fund Medicaid.

Ironically, if it were not for our Medicaid patients, we would not have sufficient patient volume to support many of the pediatric subspecialists and pediatric surgeons.  It is the large group of patients coming to one central location that makes it possible for us to have five pediatric neurosurgeons, for example.  That means when your child or grandchild has the need for a world-class pediatric specialist, we will have that person right here in Birmingham.

I often say it is unusual to be in a business where you really do not want customers—but at the same time, if a child needs specialty pediatric services, thank God that Children’s of Alabama is right here in Birmingham.

Mike Warren  is President and Chief Executive Officer of Children’s of Alabama. He married his high school sweetheart, Anne, and they have three married children and 10 grandchildren

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David Sher is co-CEO of AmSher Compassionate Collections.  He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (REV Birmingham), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).

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