top of page

Special Care Unit Celebrates 5 Years of Success at UAB Medicine

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

Phillip Morris, Horace Seldon
Phillip Morris and Horace Seldon

Special Care Unit (SCU) is proudly celebrating five years of partnering with the University of Alabama at Birmingham, an internationally renowned research university and academic medical center.

In 2016, SCU opened at UAB Medicine and is one of only two units in the U.S. designed to wean patients off a ventilator. To date, the unit has saved more than 600 lives and helped hundreds of patients regain their autonomy.

The Special Care Unit has been instrumental in the recovery of UAB Medicine patients languishing on Ventilators, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when over 50% of our patients had suffered from severe COVID – 19 Infection,” says Jimmy Stout, Director of Quality and Safety of the SCU at UAB. “There is no greater feeling than seeing patients who have fought for so long be able to leave here, go home and continue their


Sam Nimah and Danielle Foster
Sam Nimah and Danielle Foster

SCU at UAB Medicine focuses on a high-touch, early mobilization strategy for patients that might otherwise be considered “Vent Dependent” and wind up with much longer hospital stays or worse. It is able to accomplish this using a higher-than-average staff-to-patient ratio. SCU at UAB Medicine has successfully treated many of Birmingham’s most complex cases. In 2020 alone, 112 SCU UAB patients were successfully discharged at an 86% ventilator wean rate, more than 40% higher than the national average.

“The fact that this program is available to the Birmingham community is a testament to UAB Medicine’s dedication to delivering quality care,” says SCU CEO Sam Nimah.

Patients at SCU UAB receive specialized therapy and comprehensive rehabilitation, consisting of a proprietary protocol of respiratory therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, skilled nursing, and behavioral/emotional care, delivering industry-leading patient outcomes and shorter recovery times and patient outcomes.

Phillip Morris, Frank Sortino, Erin Yarborough, Clarence Hwang
Phillip Morris, Frank Sortino, Erin Yarborough, Clarence Hwang

“For our team of medical professionals, our ultimate goal is to see patients reunited with their families and free of their ventilators,” added Nimah. “The results our partnership has produced are simply unmatched, and would not be possible without the continued support of UAB and our team’s aggressive approach.”

In addition to working with UAB, SCU has treated more than 10,000 ventilator-dependent patients over the last 30 years, and has helped hospital partners across the country deliver measurable results without any investment in equipment or personnel.

To learn more about how your hospital can work with SCU, click here.

Jen Walton, Denise Britt, Issy Carillo, Brent Patterson
Jen Walton, Denise Britt, Issy Carillo, Brent Patterson

143 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page