A Message from Dr. Richard Friend, Dean of the College of Community Health Sciences

December 8, 2022

As we approach the end of 2022 and I look back over the year, I am pleased with all that University Medical Center has accomplished for our patients. If I had to choose one thing, I think I am most proud of our work to increase access to health care.

At UMC, we strive always to help improve the health of individuals and communities in Alabama, and one way we do this is by making health-care services more accessible. Access to health care is especially important in the state’s rural communities, where care can sometimes be hard to find.

In early fall, we opened UMC-Livingston to bring additional primary health-care services to Sumter County. We have been warmly welcomed by the community and we are pleased and honored to care for residents there, and we look forward to caring for students, faculty and staff of the University of West Alabama.

In November, we completed construction and opened a brand-new and significantly larger UMC-Northport in collaboration with University of Alabama leadership. You might remember that UMC first opened a clinic in Northport in 2015 in the Fitness One Building on McFarland Boulevard, with 11 exam rooms and 6,000 square feet of space. The new and expanded UMC-Northport opened Nov. 14 at 6205 Jemison Lane. The clinic is 15,000 square feet in size and has 28 exam rooms.

The Northport expansion has allowed us to increase the services we provide and care for more patients. In addition to family medicine, obstetrics and pediatric care, the new UMC-Northport also offers services in internal medicine, prenatal care, women’s health, geriatrics, neurology, behavioral health and sports medicine. Social work and nutrition services are also offered, and lab and X-ray services are available on site. A grand opening is scheduled for Jan. 19, 2023.

In October, we were finally able to host an open house for UMC-Carrollton. While the clinic opened in late summer of 2021, ongoing COVID-19 prevented us from celebrating at that time. On Oct. 12 we welcomed Pickens County residents and other visitors to tour UMC-Carrollton and meet our providers. The services we offer in Carrollton include family medicine, obstetrics, prenatal care and sports medicine, as well as colonoscopy and endoscopy consultations. I believe our presence in Pickens County is especially important with the closure of the Pickens County Medical Center nearly three years ago.

Our UMC clinics in Livingston and Carrollton follow in the footsteps of UMC clinics previously opened in Fayette and Demopolis. Together with clinics in Northport and Tuscaloosa, UMC is now the largest multi-specialty medical practice in West Alabama. We welcome new patients at all of our locations.

Also in 2022, we moved the UMC Faculty-Staff Clinic to brand new space within our main facility in Tuscaloosa. Later in December, we will begin construction on an expansion of our Dr. Bill deShazo Sports Medicine Center.

Bricks and mortar weren’t all we did in 2022. We also upgraded our patient portal to provide additional and enhanced online services to patients. Now, patients can view and manage appointments, more easily review prescriptions and request refills, complete paperwork prior to appointments and message securely with their provider and care team.

We continued to provide COVID-19 vaccines throughout the year, and beginning in early fall, made flu vaccines available to UMC patients and UA students, faculty and staff.

We will continue to stay the course as we move into 2023 and we will remain true to our mission of improving the health of Alabama’s communities.

The College of Community Health Sciences operates University Medical Center, the UA Student Health Center and Pharmacy, Brewer-Porch Children’s Center and Capstone Hospitalist Group.