Cooper Green began in 1972 as a 319-bed acute care facility located adjacent to UAB Hospital. In August of 2012, Jefferson County Commissioners voted to close the Cooper Green inpatient units to reduce the drain on the County’s budget. Cooper Green was then converted to an outpatient, multi-specialty clinic where it continues to serve the County’s most vulnerable citizens.
Through the years, UAB Health System has partnered with Cooper Green by providing diagnostic tests and other procedures that are not provided on-site. Additionally, many Cooper Green clinics are staffed by UAB faculty, and medical residents receive training at the facility.
In January of 2018, the consulting firm Manett, Phelps, and Phillips presented a report to the Jefferson County Commission recommending that the commission build a new facility for Cooper Green, concluding that the estimated cost would be similar to the $40-$50 million required to improve the existing facility. The report also urged the commission to get out of the healthcare business, and instead turn over operations to a University Healthcare Authority..
In October of 2018, the Commission asked County Manager Tony Petelos to formally approach UAB Health System to help determine a plan for the future of Cooper Green.
On April 18, 2019, the Jefferson County Commission passed a resolution in agreement with the UAB Health System to begin a due diligence period to focus on creating a University Healthcare Authority to help manage Cooper Green Mercy Health Services. By passing the resolution, Jefferson County and UAB Health System can have more detailed discussions on how a transition would occur under the new Authority. Those discussions have begun.