|About the Birmingham VA Medical Center|
The Birmingham VA Medical Center is a 313-bed facility that provides acute tertiary medical and surgical care to veterans of Alabama and surrounding states and serves as the primary veteran's referral center for the state. It has special programs including the following: open heart surgery, neurosurgery, cardiac catheterization/angioplasty, hemodialysis, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, nuclear medicine, ophthalmology, and audiology/speech pathology, mental health clinic, home-based primary care, and the Southeastern Blind Rehabiliation Center.
The Birmingham VAMC is a teaching medical center, providing a full range of patient care services as well as education and research. The facility's primary affiliation is with the University of Alabama hospitals and clinics.
The Birmingham VAMC has a large funded research and development program, including studies in neurology and immunology, which enhances its ability to provide state-of-the-art medical techniques and treatments to its veteran patients. The Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, one of only 20 in the VA system nationwide, conducts research on the improvement of mobility and incontinence in older veterans. Other major areas of research include cardiovascular disease, rheumatology, oncology, neuroimmunology, immunology, endocrinology, and HIV. The medical center is also receiving significant support from the VA Central Office to develop clinical health services research, entitled Research Enrichment Award Program (REAP). The focus of Birmingham's REAP is "use of evidence to change clinicians' practice patterns."
The Birmingham VAMC has become the model for palliative care in Network 7, comprised of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. Dr. Amos Bailey, founder of the nationally recognized Balm of Gilead, was added to the staff in July of 2001. With the addition of Dr. Bailey, veterans are now receiving the best care available at end-of-life. The 32-bed Southeastern Blind Rehabilitation Center is one of ten in the VA system. In addition, the BVAMC operates community-based outpatient clinics in northern Alabama; clinics are located in Huntsville, Annisto