UAB-Infirmary Health Partnership Extends Cancer Care in Alabama

Jan. 24, 2024
Infirmary Cancer Care patients will now have access to more than 200 clinical trials and the resources of an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System is expanding the reach of its O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center statewide through a new partnership with Infirmary Health. 

The partnership is designed to bring collaborative, comprehensive cancer services to patients in southern Alabama, southeast Mississippi and the Florida panhandle. The goal is to decrease the burden of cancer, improve outcomes, and expand cancer scientific discovery through an increased footprint and resources of both organizations.

Infirmary Health is the largest integrated health system in south Alabama and along the central Gulf Coast. It has four acute-care hospitals, three post-acute care facilities, three ambulatory surgical centers and over 60 physician practice locations. 

The O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in Alabama.

“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,” said Mark Nix, president and CEO of Infirmary Health, in a statement. “Collaboration and affiliation with the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, 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 health care in our region.”

“At UAB, our mission is to strive to offer an 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,” said Barry Sleckman, M.D., Ph.D., director of the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB, In a statement. “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 to receive care at Infirmary Cancer Care’s five locations in Mobile and Baldwin counties but will now have access to the expertise of cancer experts and multidisciplinary teams at UAB, opening the door for expanded treatment options, most notably clinical trials.

“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, in a statement. “Through our collaboration, Infirmary Cancer Care patients will now have access to more than 200 clinical trials and the resources of an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center close to home. This will improve not only the outcomes for our patients but also their quality of life during their cancer treatment and beyond.”

While collaborating closely, both organizations will provide clinical services under their existing licenses and legal entities. There is no change in ownership as a result of this partnership, they said.

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