By Ameera Steward The Birmingham Times
Spending long periods of time in a hospital with her mother, who had been diagnosed with cancer, gave Tiffany Alexander a love for health care and helping others.
“We always had a great medical staff [at Russell Medical Center in Alexander City, Ala.], so it’s just kind of where I spent my time,” said Alexander, 27. “Their care and their love for [my mother] definitely made me fall in love with the profession.”
Alexander’s mom passed away in 2002, but her love for helping others remains in her role as a co-founder of Pediatrics PM, an urgent-care facility on Birmingham’s Southside. She also is founder of the Tiffany Alexander Group, which provides strategic planning, public relations, marketing, and special-events services.
For Alexander, Pediatrics PM, an after-hours pediatrics clinic, is a dream come true because health care is where her heart is. In fact, she has fond childhood memories of her pediatrician and dentist.
“They become a part of your family,” she said. “So, being able to give back, being able to keep that legacy going, being able to impact kids’ lives [and having] them remember you when they graduate from high school or college [is wonderful].
Alexander and her co-founder had worked on a grant together at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and came up with the idea for the clinic, which they agreed would provide after-hours pediatric care.
“I knew I wanted to leave a legacy [after retirement],” Alexander said. “In my mind, it was something that could live on forever. It wasn’t conventional health care, it was something different, something out of the box, something we could one day franchise, that could have multiple locations and reach the entire state.
“Public health is more than just your body and your health. It’s community engagement, it’s socioeconomic status, it’s your transportation, it’s how you eat, what you eat. All those things go into public health and that, in turn, affects health and the overall human body.”
Alexander was born in Alexander City. She and another child were adopted by her parents. When she was 10, her mother passed away. Then her father remarried, giving her another brother.
“We have a beautiful blended family,” she said. “I definitely love to tell people that in our family we don’t use the word ‘step.’”
Alexander moved to Birmingham to study health care management at UAB.
“I got a student assistant job at UAB that actually wasn’t in direct patient care at all; it was actually in administration,” she said. “That’s when I was like, ‘Oh, I can [have an] impact [on] health care without having direct patient contact,’ and that’s when I decided to go into health care management.”
While at UAB, Alexander was also in the military reserve.
“I come from a military family, third generation,” she said. “I [was a reservist] through college, medical services, and thought I wanted a career in the military. But other opportunities presented themselves [more] obviously at UAB, so I ended up not [pursuing] a career in military like most of my family members.”
Alexander was an administrator at UAB for five years and decided to stay in Birmingham after falling in love with the city. Working at UAB was a learning experience that prepared her for business.
“My career started off in the clinic [setting], being at the dean’s office, and … working with direct health care. Then [I went] into research, trying to make those worlds mesh, getting people to work together, getting [to know] different sides of people … definitely prepared me for the world outside of UAB.”
In addition to working with Pediatrics PM, Alexander also runs the Tiffany Alexander Group, which allows her to create and inspire.
“I never thought I would be a businesswoman. I never saw myself that way,” she said. “Growing up, I always saw myself as a nurse, I always saw myself in scrubs, but … starting at UAB in the dean’s office and seeing that administrative side definitely cultivated my skills in the business world.”
Alexander said she enjoys the flexibility of working on her own: “It seemed like … nothing I did fit into one little box. Some of it was event planning, some of it was websites, some of it was logo creation, some of it was just logistics.”
Alexander said she adheres to Biblical verse Luke 12:48—“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required”—so she is involved with several groups and agencies. She’s a director and member of Civitan International, a group that does research for children with developmental disorders; public relations chair of the Birmingham Urban League Young Professionals; and a member of the United Negro College Fund’s Young Professionals Advisory Council and the UAB Minority Health and Research Center board.
“I’ve been fortunate and very blessed, so I’ve always wanted to give back,” said Alexander. “All the things I do go back into community engagement, … go back into giving people the opportunities I’ve been given.”