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Our History

Our History

Children's Sports Medicine, formerly known as UAB Sports Medicine, first opened its doors in August of 1974 as The Sports Medicine Institute of Alabama. The Sports Medicine Institute of Alabama became the premier Sports Medicine Clinic in Birmingham; providing the highest quality sports medicine care to all active individuals in and around the greater Birmingham area. The clinic was established by Dr. Kurt Niemann, a local physician in the UAB Medical Center, with the help of Drew Ferguson, a Certified Athletic Trainer for the UAB Blazers. At that time, Dr. Niemann was the Director of Orthopedic Surgery at the UAB Medical Center, a Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, and Team Physician for the UAB Blazers and Mountain Brook Schools. Drew Ferguson was the Head Athletic Trainer for Coach Gene Bartow until 1982 when he left to serve as the Director of Administration and Athletic Training for the clinic.

Initially, the clinic was located in the Wallace Gymnasium in an old physiology laboratory on UAB's campus. Due to limited resources and staff, the clinic was only open in the evenings, making it hard to see all patients during regular business hours. Therefore, hours sometimes extended into the early mornings and weekends. The clinic later moved to Cooper Green hospital in 1976, which gave the clinic access to x-ray equipment and more space.

Until a full time orthopedist could be identified, the clinic would recruit doctors from surrounding hospitals to help see patients, administer physicals, and serve as team physicians for local athletic programs. Dr. William Garth, Jr. joined the Sports Medicine team in 1981. In 1982 the clinic moved to Children's of Alabama to enable access to both the Children's of Alabama System and the UAB Health System to better accommodate its patients and their families.

Presently, the clinic is located in the Lowder Building of Children's of Alabama on the fourth floor; where it continues to provide the best quality, efficient, and comprehensive care to all patients.