Posted on September 10, 2004 at 3:27 p.m.
BIRMINGHAM, AL — The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) will dedicate the William Clifford and Margaret Spain McDonald Clinic at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, September 12, at the clinic, 1521 11th Avenue South. UAB President Carol Garrison will preside. The newly renovated clinic brings together in one building the clinical services of the UAB division of gerontology and geriatric medicine. The building also houses UAB’s Camellia Medical Group practice.
A gift of $1 million from Margaret Cameron McDonald and Scott Vowell and Nancy and William “Billy” Clifford McDonald III made the McDonald Clinic renovation possible.
Cameron Vowell and her brother, Billy McDonald, are the children of longtime UAB benefactors Margaret “Peggy” Cameron Spain and William Clifford “Mac” McDonald Jr., for whom the clinic is named. Cameron Vowell, herself a longtime supporter of UAB’s Center for Aging, said she became acutely aware of the need for geriatricians during the last years of her mother’s life.
“Navigating today’s complicated health care system hit me out of the blue,” she said. “It was so difficult to watch my mother suffer and not know what to do. Dr. S. Richardson Hill [former UAB president] recommended putting Mother under the care of a geriatrician who could oversee all of her health care needs. Her quality of life really improved, as did that of her family and caregivers.
“UAB has so many programs that can enhance the lives of the elderly,” Vowell said. “We hope this gift will further encourage the development and understanding of these programs in our community.”
“The consolidation of these programs in the division of gerontology and geriatric medicine means better access to care for those in need of these services,” said Richard M. Allman, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the UAB Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine and the Birmingham/Atlanta Veterans Affairs Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC). “We salute the generosity of the Vowells and the McDonalds in providing a facility that truly helps make UAB a leader in this field.”
Douglas Tilt, M.D., medical director of the Camellia Medical Group, said that while the McDonald Clinic is separate from the Kirklin Clinic, patients will have easy access to all of the services of the Kirklin Clinic as well as new features, including drive-up access to the front door and an adjacent, level parking lot.
“I know all the patients who visit the McDonald Clinic will appreciate the ease of access and our ability to connect to the unprecedented medical technology available at UAB,” Tilt said.
Cameron Vowell received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from UAB and recently was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor. She and her brother not only follow in the footsteps of their parents, who helped establish the Greater Birmingham Foundation, they also carry on the tradition of their grandparents Margaret Edith Cameron and Frank Edward Spain, who helped acquire the land for UAB’s medical center.