Southeast Health opens new surgery clinic
DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - What began as just a conversation over a year ago has come to fruition for Southeast Health Medical Center. On Monday, March 27th, 2023 the health facility opened a new Southeast Health Surgery Clinic.
This building was once the Southeast Health Neuro Spine Center. It is now a multi-specialty clinic featuring four specialized surgical services all in one location by board-certified physicians and advanced practice providers.
Those surgeries are Cardiothoracic, General, Vascular and Neurosurgery.
The clinic will assist patients through the surgical process from the initial visit all the way to post-surgical care. The clinic staff said they will work together across multi-surgical disciplines to treat complex diseases and injuries. The clinic team provides surgical care from outpatient procedures to major surgery requiring hospitalization.
Brannon Lucas, the Vice President of Southeast Health Medical Group explains why this new addition will help the medical center navigate through day-to-day challenges.
“Really this was to address space issues as we continue to recruit in new surgical specialists,” Lucas said. “This also helped us to reduce variation in our work flows and then one of the other big things is this was done to address staffing shortages. Since the pandemic we continue to struggle to recruit and retain and so we felt this was a great way to cross train our back office as well as our clinical staff.”
He said over the idea came about in a conversation related to recruiting and bringing on additional surgery providers, but during that time they determined there was not a need just yet. However, that has now changed.
“It didn’t make sense and then about four months ago as we onboarded our fourth general surgeon as we got a signed contract on our fifth general surgeon we determined you know what, let’s look into it again, let’s figure out how to utilize the great space over at our Neuro Spine Clinic and at that point we made the determination that yes, this makes a lot of sense for southeast health,” Lucas said.
Dr. Jeffrey Whitehurst is a general surgeon. He is also the medical director for general surgery at the facility. He said this not only benefits the medical center’s staff, but it will benefit their patients as well by offering a cut in numerous visit times by being a one-stop surgery clinic.
“We have a lot of trauma patients that we take care of, and they’ve often involved multiple different injuries,” Dr. Whitehurst said. “They have brain injuries, they have chest injuries, and then they have all of the abdominal injuries that we take care of and so there’s one office where they are going to be able to see all of the providers and sometimes they won’t have to have appointments on different days, they can go from one provider to the other and get everything taken care of a little more efficiently.”
He said this surgery clinic also allows the various surgeons to coordinate.
“We deal a lot with vascular surgery also so the general surgeons and the vascular surgeon’s kind of coordinate care as far as doing wound care and getting their limbs re-vascularized and stuff so that also allows us to see them quicker and get that taken care of sooner,” Dr. Whitehurst said.
The clinic is on the west side of the medical center campus just off Haven Drive at 102 Doctors Drive.
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