Our History

Providing compassionate health care since 2005.



In 2005, Christ Health received a Compassion Capital Collaborative sub-award through Christian Community Health Fellowship to help establish our initial clinic on the campus of The Foundry, a residential alcohol and drug recovery ministry in Bessemer, Alabama. At The Foundry, we refined our vision while serving both the residents of The Foundry and the good people who live in and around Bessemer.


Late in 2007, Dr. Robert Record and Dr. John Fischer received the opportunity to purchase the Eastern Health Department building in Woodlawn. They pursued the building with vigor and found a great partner in Church of the Highlands who shared their vision for holistic community transformation that included increased access to healthcare for those in need. Much like Christ Health's Foundry relationship, Church of the Highlands' Birmingham Dream Center became an excellent community development partner and a landlord willing to rent clinical space below market-rate. Initial operating capital came in the form of a large grant from the Daughters of Charity religious order, another miraculous Christ Health partner.



As medical residents, Dr. Robert Record, a “transplant” to Birmingham, and Dr. John Fischer, a “local,” both loved Birmingham. They dreamed of opening a clinic that could help eliminate the healthcare gap that exists in our community. Their dream evolved into a vision and then became a reality in March 2009 when Christ Health Woodlawn opened in the fully renovated, 16,600 square foot building of the former Eastern Health Department. Christ Health Woodlawn began with 18 exam rooms, six dental operatories, and small pharmacy space.


The Department of Health and Human Services awarded Christ Health a Section 330 grant as a federally qualified health center in November 2013. Earlier that year, with the arrival of twins to Dr. Fischer's growing family, he reluctantly left Christ Health to pursue opportunities that would allow his wife to remain home with their three young children. The Bessemer clinic was closed, with the UAB School of Nursing later opening a primary care clinic at that location to serve Foundry residents and other patients in the area.



With a passion for multiplying our work by developing physician leaders, in collaboration with the St. Vincent's Health System, in October 2017, Christ Health took over operation and management of the St. Vincent's East Family Medicine Residency and opened Christ Health Chalkville, its second primary care clinic, in the Chalkville community of Eastern Jefferson County in Alabama.


Christ Health completed the construction of the Live Oaks Clinic adjacent to Christ Health Woodlawn in April 2019. Christ Health opened the Live Oaks Clinic to help solve Birmingham's mental health crisis by utilizing key components of the AIMS model to provide holistic and affordable mental health treatment. The facility includes five rooms for children and adolescents, five rooms for adult consultation, and a group therapy room. The clinic has offices for up to four licensed counselors and space where our pharmacy was relocated and expanded. Live Oaks Clinic psychiatrists work hand-in-hand with our CHC medical providers to help them confidently diagnose and treat mild to moderate mental health disorders during medical visits. This training helps free up valuable psychiatry appointment slots for those patients with severe or persistent mental illness. This model will eventually allow us to build protocols that we can incorporate into the residency program and share with other primary care clinics.