If you’ve ever needed eye treatment in Birmingham—whether it be for eye trauma or a regular checkup—odds are you’re familiar with the UAB Callahan Eye Hospital. However, there’s more to this hospital than meets the eye (pun intended)!
Keep reading to learn five facts you might not have known about UAB Callahan Eye Hospital!
1. UAB Callahan Eye Hospital has been serving patients in Birmingham for nearly 60 years
Did you know that UAB Callahan Eye Hospital owes its start to a young girl named Barbara Ingalls? In the 1950s, 5-year-old Barbara’s crossed eyes were treated by ophthalmologist Alston Callahan, who aspired to start a world-class speciality eye center in Birmingham. Inspired by Dr. Callahan’s work, Barbara Ingalls’ grandfather donated money to help establish the Callahan Eye Foundation. The first Callahan facility opened its doors in Birmingham in 1963.
Since then, the hospital has grown to staff more than 550 medical staff members. Each year, Callahan treats more than 150,000 patient cases each year at dozens of locations—which brings us to our next fact!
2. UAB Callahan operates more than 20 clinics in Alabama
Earlier this year, Callahan opened a brand-new clinic in Trussville to help offer convenient access to premium eye care to even more Alabamians. In fact, Callahan operates a number of clinics throughout Alabama, including:
- UAB Callahan Eye Hospital
- Pell City
- Cahaba River
- Children’s South
- Medical West
- Alexander City
And if you’re looking for new eyewear—prescription glasses or sunglasses—you can find convenient eyewear stores at several Callahan locations, where Callahan patients receive 15% off (not included with insurance): Callahan Eye Hospital, Cahaba River Road, Gardendale, Hoover , Pell City and Trussville.
3. UAB Callahan is the nation’s first Level 1 Trauma Center for Ocular Trauma
In 2011, UAB Callahan Eye Hospital received a very important designation from the American Society of Ocular Trauma: the nation’s first eye emergency department with a Level I designation in Ocular Trauma. In fact, UAB Callahan Eye Hospital is the only freestanding Level 1 Trauma Center in the US with a 24/7 eye emergency department!
To qualify for a Level I designation, a hospital must meet several requirements:
- Ocular trauma hospitals must have emergency services with nursing and physician staff on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the ability to perform emergency surgery within one hour of admission.
- The facility must have all necessary equipment, supplies, instruments and ancillary services to treat all types of eye trauma available around the clock.
- Other medical specialties such as internal medicine or infectious diseases must be accessible within an hour.
- Nursing staff must complete ophthalmic and eye-trauma-specific education requirements periodically.
- Additional requirements include participating in research and education activities and serving as a community resource.
4. UAB Callahan treats patients of all ages
Since eye trouble can affect anyone, UAB Callahan takes pride in offering their services to all ages—starting at birth! Several UAB Callahan’s locations—such as Children’s South—specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of children’s eye disease.
Thanks to Callahan’s world-class pediatric ophthalmologists and optometrists, specialized eye care for children of all ages is available throughout Central Alabama. Even better, UAB Callahan’s practices are sensory-inclusive and certified by KultureCity, making the entire exam process easy and comfortable for everyone.
5. Art from Yaacov Agam is displayed through the campus
As you drive past UAB Callahan Eye Hospital on University Boulevard, it’s impossible to miss the large, outdoor art exhibit displayed prominently along the building. The exhibit, titled “Complex Vision”, is the work of internationally-recognized Israeli artist Yaacov Agam—often referred to as the Father of Kinetic Art.
Installed in 1976, Complex Vision is a 30ft by 30ft kinetic sculpture made up of 69 aluminum panels, each weighing about 50 pounds! And that’s not all—several of Agam’s pieces can be seen throughout the UAB Callahan Eye Hospital and in some Callahan clinics, so keep an eye out!
Want to learn more about UAB Callahan?
Whether you need emergency eye care, a routine checkup, new eyewear and more, UAB Callahan Eye Hospital & Clinics has you covered.
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