Last month, we passed a significant milestone with COVID-19: the two-year mark since the World Health Organization declared it a worldwide pandemic. Now, COVID-19 cases are decreasing and remain low. A new dawn is on the horizon for us individually and as a health care system.

Women’s History Month is a celebration. It’s a time to admire and respect women's contributions throughout history, but also a time to re-energize our efforts towards equality and equity for the rest of the year.

Black History Month is a dedicated time to celebrate the extraordinary contributions of Black/African American individuals in American history. My hope is that it will serve as a reminder to all of us across the health system to continue building trust with our patients, continue our work in diverse communities, and influence growth and prevention across our cities all year long. 

On January 1, I officially assumed the roles of CEO of UAB Health System and CEO of the UAB/Ascension St. Vincent’s Alliance, while continuing to serve in the capacity of Dean of the UAB Heersink School of Medicine. Leading in this way is one of the greatest honors of my career.

2021 was marked by change, adaptability, and surprise. As we enter the holiday season and embark on a new chapter, Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., FACS, dean of the Heersink School of Medicine, reflects on gratitude and thankfulness.

In September, our medical school welcomed a historic gift of $95 million from Dr. Marnix E. and Mary Heersink and their family, transforming the school into the University of Alabama at Birmingham Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine.

As UAB Medicine expands its footprint in Alabama via Live Health Smart Alabama and more programs, I am committed to elevate the brand of Birmingham and Alabama’s other cities, where our regional campuses and clinics live, to showcase the breadth of our academic medical center.

Our decisions—small and large, collectively and individually—have the potential to impact others. We have a responsibility to make good decisions that benefit our community.

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