The University of Alabama at Birmingham has been named America's No. 1 Best Large Employer by Forbes, topping the list of more than 500 public and private corporations, hospitals, universities, and Fortune 500 companies.
In order to create the Forbes 2021 list, Statista anonymously surveyed 38,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees. Respondents were asked to rate on a scale of zero to 10 how likely they would be to recommend their employer to friends and family, and then encouraged participants to nominate other organizations they do and do not recommend. The final list ranks the 500 large and 500 midsize employers that received the most recommendations.
"What makes Forbes' recognition so meaningful is that it is based largely on whether our employees would recommend UAB to friends and family," UAB President Ray Watts said. "Especially after such a challenging year, knowing that our people are proud to be part of the UAB family is humbling and gratifying.
UAB, which is Alabama's largest public employer and home of one of the region's largest academic medical centers, employs more than 23,000 people across its university and hospital entities with over 22,000 enrolled students, and has an annual economic impact exceeding $7 billion on the state.
In a year marked by uncertainty, UAB navigated caring for hundreds of COVID-19 patients while pivoting research priorities to help advance therapeutics to fight the pandemic, and managed to keep its academic entities moving forward through a fluid hybrid learning approach. Employees were provided access to resources such as personal protective equipment, mental health tools and wellness days, and access to assistance resources like food supplementation and child care support, among others.
UAB boasts many nationally ranked programs, with 16 graduate and professional programs in the schools of Health Professions, Nursing, Medicine, Engineering, Education, Business and Public Health and the College of Arts and Sciences all ranked in the 2020 U.S. News Best Graduate School Rankings. The Master's in Health Administration program in the School of Health Professions received the No. 1 ranking as the best in the country.
With annual research expenditures exceeding a record $600 million, UAB is a leader in federal research funding, ranking 20th in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding to climb 11 places on the NIH rankings in the past five years. During that time period, UAB's total NIH funding rose more than $100 million, topping the $234 million mark in 2018. Only seven other academic medical centers in the United States increased their NIH funding by more than $100 million during that same timeframe, placing UAB among an elite group of eight academic medical centers.
UAB Hospital is among the 20 largest hospitals in the United States. UAB Hospital's American College of Surgeons Verified Adult Level 1 Trauma Center is the only one of its kind in Alabama. UAB Hospital and clinics saw more than a million patient visits last year. The U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals report listed eight of UAB's medical specialties in the nation's top 50 programs of their kind, seven of those within the top 30, along with two others noted as being "high performing" in the 2020-2021 Best Hospital rankings. UAB also has the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center, the only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center in Alabama and its five-state region.