Category Archives: JeffCo

Indigent healthcare community forum to be held May 21

Photo of Cooper Green Mercy Hospital. Courtesy Sharon Phelan Evans.There is still a great deal of concern about how Jefferson County’s poorest citizens access and receive healthcare, especially as folks continue to navigate changes made at what is now Cooper Green Mercy Health Services after December 31, 2012. The changes have left the county with an urgent care system labeled by some, including the Jefferson County Medical Society, as an “abject failure” since the beginning of the year.

Dr. Gregory Ayers, the society’s president-elect of the Society and one of the signers of the organization’s statement, and Dr. Mark Wilson, head of the Jefferson County Department of Health, will speak at a community forum on Tuesday evening, May 21, from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Five Points West Public Library (directions), located across from the Birmingham CrossPlex. In addition to talking about the organization’s public  written statement, Dr. Ayers will also be discussing proposals to fix the new system.

We are aware of the fact that all members of the Jefferson County Commission and county manager Tony Petelos have also been invited to attend Tuesday evening’s forum.

The forum is being hosted by Birmingham ViewWeld for BirminghamThe TerminalUrbanham.comWhat’s Happening Birmingham; the Metro Birmingham Branch of the NAACP; the Public Health Network; the Social Concerns Committee of Noble Chapel CME Church; and the Committee to Save Cooper Green’s Patient Action and Advocacy Committee.


UPDATED: Fight for Cooper Green goes national with Reverend Al

UPDATE, 10/6: reported on October 5 that Rev. Sharpton will be in town on October 26. The audience will indeed be larger, not just because of the national attention the civil rights leader will draw, but because it will be the day before the 2012 Magic City Classic at Legion Field.

One of the bigger conversations taking place in metro Birmingham involves the Jefferson County Commission’s plans to change Cooper Green Mercy Hospital from what is primarily an inpatient facility to one that acts more as a hub and spoke outpatient service.

Monday afternoon saw U.S. Congresswoman Terri Sewell and Gen. George Bowman, the Democratic Jefferson County Commissioner for health and general services in the county, bring the national spotlight to the case via an appearance on Keeping It Real with the Rev. Al. Sharpton.

Rep. Sewell publicized the segment in advance via Twitter and posted the interview to her YouTube account on October 3.

During the interview, Sharpton promises Sewell and Bowman that he’ll be making an effort to visit Birmingham and help rally behind efforts to save Cooper Green. He promised his radio audience he would be announcing a date in the near future in addition to bringing up the issue on his television show on MSNBC (which celebrated a year on the air back in August).

Based on the events calendar maintained on the National Action Network website, the date for that appearance in central Alabama has not been determined as of yet. See update above.

A new website was also mentioned during the interview, Save Cooper Green, aimed at providing additional information about efforts to preserve the inpatient unit and reports via indicate there is talk of the December 1 deadline possibly being shifted.

In case you’re planning to renew your car tag today…

The line outside of the Jefferson County Courthouse, 5.31.2011

The line outside of the Jefferson County Courthouse in downtown Birmingham is quite long this morning, extending deep into Linn Park. It is the last day of the month (and the first since the Jefferson County Commission decided to close satellite offices once again in order to save money), meaning people from throughout the region are making that last ditch effort to pay their tag renewals.

Don’t forget that you can choose to pay your tag renewal fees virtually, though you’ll be paying an online convenience fee of anywhere between $3-30 depending on how you choose to pay – and you won’t necessarily get that tag renewal in time to avoid getting a ticket. There is word though that the county may have extended the deadline for renewing your May tags until June 30, but we’re waiting for confirmation and it’s been confirmed.

Thanks to Jacob Pigott for sharing his photo with us this morning.