OZARK, AL--Karen Watson has worked at Dale Medical Home Health for almost 13 years.
She has a 7 nurse staff and services 7 counties in the Wiregrass.
"We service between, probably 40 to 60 patients," said Agency Director Karen Watson
Some of those patients live in rural areas.
"We have a skilled nurse that will actually go out and do an assessment to see what the needs on the patients are," said Watson.
Faith Powers is a Clinical Supervisor at Dale Medical Home Health.
She says they understand the need in rural areas.
"They really don't go to the doctor as often as they should."
Powers says the lack of doctor visits could be for several reasons.
"I think some of it is transportation. They don't have family members. It's amazing to see how many of them don't have family or friends who are able to get them to the doctor's office."
And that's where they come in.
"So were sort of like part of their family."
And documents show they're a good group to call family.
For the second time in 7 years Dale Medical Home Health has been named to the top 500 of the 2012 HomeCare Elite.
"To be in the top 500 across the United States is a great honor," said Watson.
They were ranked by their publicly available performance measures, patient experience, financial performance and a few other criteria.
"We just really try to treat people the way we would want to treat our family members," added Watson.
Whether near or far.
Watson says they also visit senior centers in rural areas to educate them on nutrition and diabetes.
According to the Alabama Rural Health Association, last year, rural Alabamians lost more than 207,000 years of potential life due to premature death.