Spotlight on Limestone & Morgan: Health Care

Two hospitals serve residents and visitors of Limestone and Morgan counties

Decatur Morgan Hospital.

Decatur Morgan Hospital

An affiliate of the Huntsville Health System, Decatur Morgan Hospital is a 457-bed acute care hospital with five campuses, including a dedicated psychiatric hospital. It is the second-largest hospital north of Birmingham and one of the largest employers in Morgan County. Residents in Decatur, Hartselle, Priceville and surrounding communities have access to nearly 400 physicians and a range of services, including advanced imaging, outpatient wellness and labor and delivery. Surgical services include a robust robotics program with three available surgical robots, as well as orthopedic, urologic, gynecologic, urogynecologic and vascular.

Decatur Morgan has been recognized as a Blue Cross Blue Shield Tier One Facility and a Blue Cross Blue Shield Center for Distinction for hip and knee replacement and maternity care. The hospital earned “A”s from the Lown Institute Hospital Index 2022 for social responsibility, health equity, patient safety and inclusivity. The institute also listed Decatur Morgan among the top five in the state for social responsibility, patient safety and avoiding overuse.

To meet the demands of the growing region, in the past two years the hospital has added more than 35 new physicians to its medical staff, including a vascular surgeon.

In 2022, the hospital opened Decatur Morgan Occupational Medicine, which provides pre-employment testing and corporate wellness programs and treats and manages workplace injuries for the business community in Morgan County and surrounding areas.

Last year the hospital also partnered with Calhoun Community College to create a nurse apprenticeship program. Nurse apprentices are paid to work while receiving clinical instruction based on the college’s curriculum by hospital staff. The hospital also pays for students’ tuition and books.

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Athens-Limestone Hospital.

Athens-Limestone Hospital

Athens-Limestone Hospital, also an affiliate of Huntsville Hospital Health System, is a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama Tier 1 hospital, recognized for the highest level of compliance in quality awareness, patient safety and financial awareness. The hospital has three campuses and 20 physician clinics that serve residents of Limestone County, east Lauderdale County and south-central Tennessee. With 1,091 employees, it is one of Limestone County’s largest employers.

The hospital’s main campus provides medical and surgical care for inpatient, outpatient and emergency room patients; labor and delivery services; and lab, imaging and diagnostic services. It also includes an emergency medical services station, a sleep clinic, pain center, wellness center and multi-specialty clinics.

The tower campus provides outpatient surgery, pre-admission testing, a community pharmacy, outpatient lab, imaging and diagnostic services. The campus also includes The Orthopaedic Center, which recently performed its first robotic knee replacement surgery.

The east campus, located down the street from the tower, includes occupational health, an advanced wound center, imaging and diagnostic services and physician clinics. Its advanced wound center was recently named a Center of Distinction from Healogics.

ALH provides the second-highest volume level of surgical cases in the health system, and its surgical team boasts one of the lowest infection rates in the state.

In 2022, the ALH Foundation was awarded three grants — a $10,000 emergency services grant for new radios for the hospital’s EMS team, a $1,000 grant from the Athens Mayor’s Youth Commission provided new lead aprons and back braces for the radiology and surgical services staff, and a $1,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville’s “Share Your Story Video Challenge” supported the foundation’s annual fund.

In December 2021, Athens-Limestone opened Tanner Community Care, a partner clinic that offers preventative care, chronic disease management, labs, urgent care, wellness visits, physicals and women’s services to residents in the Tanner area.

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

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