Specialized COVID-19 clinic opens at UAB

UAB has opened a new clinic for UAB Medicine patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Written by: Julie Cole Miller
Media contact: Bob Shepard

Editor's Note: The information published in this story is accurate at the time of publication. Always refer to uab.edu/uabunited for UAB's current guidelines and recommendations relating to COVID-19.

From side, an unidentified female medical professional is wearing a PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) face mask and shield while working at a computer in UAB Hospital during COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease) pandemic, April 2020.A new clinic to treat patients diagnosed with COVID-19 has opened at the University of Alabama at Birmingham as a collaboration among physicians specializing in infectious diseases, internal medicine, and family and community medicine. The COVID Respiratory Clinic, operated by the Department of Medicine’s Division of Infectious Diseases, is open to those who are already patients of the UAB Health System who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are experiencing progressive symptoms at home. 

“Most importantly, we want to identify persons who need hospital admission and prevent rapid progressive disease. Early hospitalization, when needed, can save many lives,” said Turner Overton, M.D., professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases. “This clinic will keep patients from having to go to the emergency room, where wait times can cause delays in evaluation and also place other patients at risk for COVID-19 infection.”

Patients will first complete a telehealth or phone visit with a UAB Medicine provider, such as a Family Medicine or Prime Care provider. Based on their telehealth assessment, they may then be referred to the COVID Respiratory Clinic to identify those who need hospital admission. Otherwise, they will be prescribed medications and therapies to help them continue to recuperate at home.

“Our biggest driver is trying to make sure everyone is safe — including patients who need care and the providers and staff who are caring for patients,” said Irfan Asif, M.D., chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine. “Seeing people come together in a time of crisis is amazing. We were able to take a process that might normally take a year and put this clinic together within days. That happens only with folks who are genuine and willing to collaborate for the greater good.”

The clinic is located in the Regions Bank building at 539 Richard Arrington Blvd. and is open Monday through Friday from 1-4 p.m. To make an appointment, call your UAB Medicine provider for a telehealth evaluation and referral.

Informally being called the 19-COVID Clinic as a nod to UAB’s renowned 1917 Clinic, the clinic anticipates meeting the need for same-day visits. Kelley Williams and Laurie Hunter, senior directors in Ambulatory Services, along with Pam White, vice president for Community Services, and Patricia Pritchett, senior vice president of Ambulatory Services, spearheaded the efforts to activate the clinic.  

To request an appointment:

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1.
To schedule an appointment with a UAB Medicine provider, please call 205-934-9999 or toll-free at 800-822-8816

If you would like to donate to the UAB Coronavirus Response Support Fund, which helps defer the costs associated with uninsured and underinsured patients, PPE support, child care for health care staff, and more, visit uab.edu/fightcovid19/give.