UAB Medical West, an Affiliate of UAB Health System, just broke ground on the first Freestanding Emergency Department (FED) in the state of Alabama. Harbert Realty Services, Inc. of Birmingham has been engaged to develop the 24,342 square foot facility near the intersection of Highway 150 and Interstate 459 in Hoover, Alabama. The total investment in the project is $13.5 million, and it will permanently add approximately fifty (50) jobs. The official groundbreaking ceremony was held Thursday, August 28, 2014. 


Joining HRS in the project for UAB Medical West will be Medical Properties Trust, Inc., the owner of the FED, Brasfield & Gorrie as the general contractor and Sims Architectural Studio, Inc. as the architect of the development.


Freestanding Emergency Departments are established in other states as an effective means of improving access to high quality emergency services without the large infrastructure of a full hospital facility. The UAB Medical West FED will offer the same quality of service provided by its existing Emergency Room and Emergency Physicians in Bessemer, including convenient outpatient diagnostic services. UAB Medical West is projecting between 12,000-15,000 emergency visits per year. The facility plans to begin operations in Spring 2015.


UAB Medical West has been planning the facility for several years. Keith Pennington, CEO and President of UAB Medical West, stated: “UAB Medical West is proud to take the leadership role in being the first to offer this new service that will expand healthcare access to the growing Hoover community –the largest community in Alabama without acute healthcare services. Further, we are excited to work with our team of Alabama firms that will bring cutting edge emergency medicine to this area.”


Based in Birmingham, Alabama, Medical Properties Trust, Inc. is currently the largest owner of freestanding emergency facilities in the United States. Edward K. Aldag, Jr., Chairman, President and CEO stated, “As the largest healthcare REIT in the country focusing solely on hospitals and related facilities, we leaped at this opportunity to create a state of the art facility for such a strong organization in UAB Medical West, and doing it in our own backyard makes this undertaking a point of pride for our organization.”


Harbert Realty Services, also based in Birmingham, has a long history of developing projects that create value for its clients and partners. Additionally, the firm has successfully developed a number of medical facilities for clients and its own portfolio. “We are very pleased to be working with such great partners as UAB Medical West, Medical Properties Trust, Brasfield & Gorrie and SAS on this project. As the first Freestanding Emergency Department for the state of Alabama, this development is a trendsetter for the region, and we are thrilled to be part of it. Harbert has led the way on many groundbreaking projects over the years, and this is another great collaboration that we will be proud of for decades to come,” according to Norman Tynes, Executive Vice President at Harbert Realty Services.


Brasfield & Gorrie, also based in Birmingham, has a resume of healthcare construction as strong as any general contractor in the nation. The construction firm has already built many of the country’s first freestanding emergency room facilities, and its knowledge base in this domain is second to none. Jack Darnall, Brasfield & Gorrie’s Executive Vice President, shared this: “Having done so much work with UAB, providing a state of the art facility for UAB Medical West is an honor. Working with both MPT and Harbert Realty in one project has just been a pleasure, because everyone on this team has executed flawlessly.”