Spotlight on Lee, Russell & Macon: Health Care

Four medical facilities serve residents and visitors of these three east-central Alabama counties

East Alabama Medical Center’s Freestanding Emergency Department at Auburn Medical Pavilion.

East Alabama Health

East Alabama Health in Opelika is a major employer in Lee County, with about 3,500 employees. East Alabama Medical Center, a regional referral hospital in Opelika with 340 beds, is the largest facility, providing care to patients in 11 counties. Other elements of the system are EAMC-Lanier in Valley, the Spencer Cancer Center in Opelika, the Auburn Medical Pavilion and several other medical clinics and practices.

The hospital consistently receives awards of excellence, and in August, Forbes named East Alabama Health one of “America’s Best-in-State Employers.”

In 2024, East Alabama Health plans to start an expansion to its West Pavilion at EAMC in Opelika to add 30 critical care beds and an onsite LPN program. In January 2022, the East Alabama Surgery Center, a joint venture between EAMC and 16 area physicians, opened at the Auburn Medical Pavilion.

In 2023, the hospital earned designation as a Blue Distinction Centers+ for Cardiac Care and earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Advanced Inpatient Diabetes Disease-Specific Care Certification.

Other accolades include the American Heart Association’s Get with the Guidelines – Stroke Silver Plus quality achievement award and the Robotic Center of Excellence distinction from the Surgical Review Corp.

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Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital

Located in Phenix City in Russell County, Jack Hughston Memorial is a 70-bed advanced acute care hospital. It is located across the Chattahoochee River from the main Hughston Clinic campus in Georgia and offers a wide range of services including an ICU and a 24-hour emergency room.

The hospital has been ranked in the top 10% nationwide for both orthopedic and joint replacement care. For 11 years in a row (2012-2022), it has been listed among America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Orthopedic Surgery and Joint Replacement and also been included by Healthgrades in the top 5% of hospitals in the nation for overall orthopedic services and joint replacement.

The Hughston Clinic also has several satellite locations, some with different specialties such as orthopedics and trauma, throughout the region and surrounding states.

Regional Rehabilitation Hospital

The 58-bed inpatient Regional Rehabilitation Hospital in Phenix City offers comprehensive inpatient services for many conditions that include stroke, trauma, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, arthritis, chronic pain, neuromuscular disease, amputation and other disabling conditions that have caused loss of functional mobility. It is designed to return patients to the community leading active and independent lives.

Regional Rehabilitation employs approximately 220 healthcare professionals, including nurses; physical, occupational and speech therapists; and other support personnel. The hospital treats more than 1,600 patients yearly and is accredited by The Joint Commission. Regional Rehabilitation Hospital has specialty certifications for stroke, brain injury and hip fracture.

Central Alabama VA Medical Center – Tuskegee

This 220-bed hospital is part of the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System, a system that also includes the Montgomery Veterans Medical Center and community-based outpatient clinics in Dothan, Fort Novosel, Monroeville and Columbus, Georgia.

The center offers a wide variety of comprehensive health and medical services. The Tuskegee campus includes a 100-bed Community Living Center and serves as the region’s geriatrics, extended care and rehabilitation service Center of Excellence.

The campus also includes a regional office building, with staff providing many types of services to veterans.

This article appears in the December 2023 issue of Business Alabama.

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