In Madison and Morgan Counties
There are many health care services in Madison and Morgan counties for military, civilians and veterans, though implementation of the Affordable Care Act has changed established insurance options. Visit www.healthcare.gov for information on open enrollment for health care coverage under the national Affordable Care Act. Alabama has several providers that offer plans to its residents. Enroll Alabama (www.enrollala.com) can help walk applicants through the maze of choices.
See the Advertiser Directory in this guide to connect with local hospitals and medical centers, health care centers and health care providers.
COMMUNITY HEALTH CARE CLINICS AND RESOURCES
A community health center or clinic is customarily the place to go for those who have no health insurance or have limited income or ability to pay medical fees. Such clinics accept most insurance and provide affordable, comprehensive health care by well-trained, professional staff. They also serve those who are uninsured and underinsured, and most are open to making sliding scale payment arrangements based on income and family size.
For a list of county health department clinics in Alabama, visit the Alabama Department of Public Health website at www.alabamapublichealth.gov and select the “County Health Departments” pulldown tab, then select Madison or Morgan County for the clinics in your area.
The Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama website, www.dentalboard.org, is a good place to start in finding a dentist. Select the “Public” pulldown tab from the home page and select an option under “Current Rosters” to find or verify a dentist or hygienist. You can also seek referrals from people you know who’ve had dental care in the area.
Consider the following to find the best dentist for your needs.
- Are the dentist’s office hours convenient for your schedule?
- Is the dental office close to your home or office?
- How are dental emergencies handled?
- Does the office appear to be clean and well organized?
- Is the staff helpful and friendly?
- What are the dental office’s financial policies and how is insurance handled?
The Oral Health Office of Alabama Public Health can give you tips for oral health and low-cost dental care. Visit its website at www.alabamapublichealth.gov/oralhealth.
Finding a Local Doctor
It’s important to find a health care provider before an urgent medical need arises. Building trust with a health care provider takes time, so don’t wait until a family member is ill to find a doctor, nurse practitioner or other health care provider.
Before you arrive at your new assignment, you can check the American Board of Family Medicine’s online directory at www.theabfm.org. You can browse for a provider by type or by location. This should give you a preview of the local medical practitioners as well as where you might need to go for specialized care.
Personal referrals from friends or other medical personnel can add to your options.
You can check a doctor’s certification at the American Board of Medical Specialties at www.abms.org. To see if anyone has registered a complaint or taken disciplinary action against the doctor, visit the Alabama State Board of Medical Examiners & Medical Licensure Commission at www.albme.org or call 334-242-4166. When you have selected a health care provider, consider the following.
- When you scheduled your appointment, was the receptionist friendly, prompt and professional? Did he or she take time to answer your questions? Were you left on hold too long?
- When you arrived for your appointment, were you greeted promptly? Was the reception area clean and comfortable? Was the staff friendly and willing to answer your questions?
- Did you have to wait long in the exam room before the doctor arrived? Was the exam room orderly and clean, with a chair for a family member?
- When the doctor arrived and introduced himself or herself, did he or she seem rushed or tired? Did you get a good first impression?
- During the consultation, did nurses or assistants pop in and out? Did the doctor seem caring, compassionate and sympathetic to your concerns? Did you feel comfortable revealing personal information? Did the doctor rush through the meeting?
Treat finding a doctor as seriously as looking for a new job or a new home. You want to be comfortable with the person who will see you while you are most vulnerable.
Veterans in Madison and Morgan counties are served within the Veterans Integrated Service Network 7 (VISN 7) — the Southeast VA Health Care Network — with the nearest major medical center in Birmingham, about 90 minutes from Redstone Arsenal. VISN 7 serves about 500,000 veterans each year with nine medical centers and community-based outpatient clinics throughout Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. The closest community outpatient clinic is in Huntsville.
Birmingham VA Medical Center
700 S. 19th St.
Birmingham, AL 35233 205-933-8101
The Birmingham VA Medical Center is a 313-bed facility in the historic southside district of the city. The facility provides acute tertiary medical and surgical care to veterans of Alabama and surrounding states. The center provides health care services to eligible veterans in VISN 7.
The medical center serves as a referral center for this population area with 131 operating beds. Recent construction provides state-of-the-art facilities and equipment in all clinical programs. Care is provided in many medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties. Most staff physicians have joint appointments with VA and its primary affiliation, the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The BVAMC operates eight community-based outpatient clinics in North Alabama. For a list of clinics, visit www.birmingham.va.gov/about/index.asp.
Huntsville VA Clinic
500 Markaview Drive NW
Huntsville, AL 35805 256-535-3100
Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs
VA Southeast Network (VISN7)
3700 Crestwood Parkway, Suite 500
Duluth, GA 30096 678-924-5700
VA Suicide Lifeline 800-273-8255
The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs operates two service offices in the area:
Madison County Service Office
115-B Washington St.
Huntsville, AL 35801 256-532-1662
Morgan County Service Office
Morgan County Courthouse
302 Lee St. NE, First Floor
Decatur, AL 35602 256-351-4636
The Department of Veterans Affairs improves the quality of life for Alabama’s veterans, military and their families by increasing awareness and access to appropriate federal, state and local resources. Veterans within the state can receive health care from a variety of facilities including one major medical center, eight community clinics and a veterans home in Madison County. Combat veterans who were discharged or released from active service on or after Jan. 28, 2003, are eligible to enroll for enhanced care in the VA health care system for five years from their date of discharge or release. The enrollment period begins on the discharge or separation date of the service member from active-duty service, or in the case of multiple call-ups, the most recent discharge date. Veterans, including activated reservists and National Guard members, are eligible if they served on active duty in combat after Nov. 11, 1998, and have been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions. Go to www.va.gov/healthbenefits/apply/returning_servicemembers.asp.
Madison County Vet Center
415 Church St., Bldg. H, Suite 101
Huntsville, AL 35801 256-539-5775
Because emergencies don’t announce themselves in advance, it’s prudent to know where to go when they happen. Saving minutes in a crisis can mean saving a life. Knowing what services are available, and where, can make all the difference. In life-threatening situations, call 911 immediately and follow dispatcher instructions.
101 Sivley Road
Huntsville, AL 35801 256-265-1000
Decatur Morgan Hospital (Decatur campus)
1201 Seventh St. SE
Decatur, AL 35601 256-973-2000
Decatur Morgan Hospital (Parkway campus)
1874 Beltline Road
Decatur, AL 35603 256-973-6000
Decatur Morgan Hospital (West campus-Behavioral Medicine)
2205 Beltline Road SW
Decatur, AL 35603 256-973-4000
8375 Highway 72 W
Madison, AL 35758 256-265-2012
Heart Center Inc.
930 Franklin St.
Huntsville, AL 35801 256-539-4080
Public Health Care
Alabama Department of Public Health
201 Monroe St.
Montgomery, AL 36104 334-206-5300
The Alabama Department of Public Health is the primary health agency for Alabama. ADPH works to provide caring, high-quality and professional services for the improvement and protection of the public’s health through disease prevention and the assurance of public services regardless of social circumstances or the ability to pay. To that goal, the agency offers more than 100 services statewide by public health professionals to assure that water is safe, children have their immunizations, restaurants are safe and birth certificates are correct — to name just a few.
The department’s main office is in Montgomery. The state is divided into 11 public health areas responsible for developing public health services and programs specific to the needs of each area. County health departments offer a variety of services, including communicable disease investigation and intervention, family planning, immunizations, STD counseling and testing, WIC and nutrition services, women’s health services and more. Services vary by location. For a full list of county health departments, hours and services, visit www.alabamapublichealth.gov/about/health-departments.html. These are the health departments in Madison and Morgan counties:
Madison County Health Department
301 Max Luther Drive NW
Huntsville, AL 35811 256-539-3711
Morgan County Health Department
510 Cherry St. NE
Decatur, AL 35601 256-353-7021