News Releases Archive

What should I do if I am at high risk for breast cancer?

Wednesday, October 7, 2020
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Q: What should I do if I am at high risk for breast cancer?
A: Women may be at high risk for breast cancer if they have close family members who have had breast cancer or other specific cancers, if they have had a breast biopsy showing atypical hyperplasia or LCIS, have extremely dense breasts on mammograms, or were treated with chest radiation at a young age. If you think you may be at high risk, consider seeing your physician for a formal breast cancer risk assessment. If your estimated lifetime risk is over 20%, this is considered high risk, and you may benefit from our High-Risk Breast Clinic. This clinic offers genetic counseling and testing, risk-tailored screenings that include more frequent breast exams, and enhanced breast imaging with 3D mammography and breast MRI. You will also learn techniques for performing self-breast exams and about risk-reducing strategies, such as diet, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol intake and limiting menopausal hormone replacement therapy. If appropriate, your physician may discuss risk-reducing medications (also called chemoprevention) or surgery, including a prophylactic mastectomy.
Caroline McGugin, M.D.
Breast Surgeon with Infirmary Surgical Specialists

Infirmary Medical Clinics announces the addition of Nathaniel “Teddy” Winstead, M.D., FACP, FACG, AGAF

Monday, October 5, 2020
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Mobile, Ala. – Nathaniel “Teddy” Winstead, M.D., FACP, FACG, AGAF, joins Gulf Coast Gastroenterology from Houma Digestive Health Specialists in Houma, LA. Gulf Coast Gastroenterology, established in 2016, provides the Fairhope community with quality, specialized gastroenterological care. Dr. Winstead is now accepting new patients by referral.
Dr. Winstead earned his medical degree from the Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. He completed his residency at Tulane University Health Sciences Center where he served as Chief Resident and Clinical Instructor of Medicine. Additionally, he was a gastroenterology and hepatology fellow at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Following the completion of his fellowship, he served as the director of gastroenterology research and the medical director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center for the Ochsner Health System for five years before establishing his practice in Houma, LA. In addition to extensive clinical trial research, Dr. Winstead has also been named a fellow with the American Gastroenterological Association, American College of Gastroenterology and the American College of Physicians.
Call 251-990-0360 to schedule an appointment.
Infirmary Medical Clinics (IMC) serve the entire Gulf Coast region with more than 50 medical clinics covering more than 48 specialties. IMC continues to expand its network of quality physicians and medical clinics to further bolster Infirmary Health’s position as the FIRST CHOICE for healthcare.

Visitor Policy - Effective Friday, October 2 at 8 a.m.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

In concordance with Governor Ivey’s Safer at Home Order, Infirmary Health has modified its hospital visitor policy effective Friday, October 2, at 8 a.m. Each patient will be permitted one designated visitor per day (exceptions apply). Visitors will be required to adhere to the following guidelines. Visitors who do not meet these guidelines will not be permitted.

  • All visitors will be required to be masked (wearing own mask from home, subject to the requirements set forth in this policy, will be allowed), temperature screened and asked approved CDC questions before allowing entrance.
  • All visitors should maintain hand hygiene and appropriate social distancing.
  • Same visitor per patient per day, 18 years or older
  • All visitors should remain in the patient’s room. All cafeterias, waiting areas, gift shops and other common areas remain closed to visitors.

Visitor Hours at Mobile Infirmary, Infirmary Long Term Acute Care Hospital, Thomas Hospital, North Baldwin Infirmary and Oakwood Center for Living are as follows:
• Non-ICU: 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. & 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
• ICU/LTACH: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. & 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
• Senior Behavioral Health Visitation will be permitted by appointment only
• For COVID-19 positive patients, no visitors unless it is an end of life situation or special circumstances as approved by Hospital Leadership
• No overnight visitation is allowed unless approved by Hospital leadership.

Visitor hours at J.L. Bedsole/Rotary Rehabilitation Hospital and Colony Rehabilitation Hospital
• Monday – Friday | 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Rotary Rehabilitation
• One visitor per patient. Must meet above criteria.
Labor & Delivery
• One support person per patient. Must meet the above criteria.
• Mother of patient and one support person. Both must meet above criteria.
• 1 parent or guardian at all times. Must meet above criteria.
Outpatient Surgery
• No visitors are allowed for outpatient procedures unless approved by hospital administration.
Emergency Departments
• One visitor will be allowed once the patient has been assigned in room. Must meet the above criteria.
Surgical Procedures
• One caregiver (meeting the above requirements) may accompany the patient to assist with entry into the hospital and registration.
End-of-Life Guidance/ Inpatient Hospice
• For non-COVID-19 patients in which death is reasonably anticipated within 24-48 hours, one caregiver (meeting the above requirements) will be allowed at the bedside
- Caregivers may rotate with other caregivers
• For PUI/COVID-19 patients, only one caregiver will be allowed at the bedside, pursuant to approval from the attending physician due to limited PPE.
- Caregivers will be required to follow all instructions from clinical staff related to hand washing, PPE, entry/exit, length of time with patient, etc.


Tuesday, September 29, 2020
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LabCorp Contacts:
Media: Donald Von Hagen — 336-436-8263
Investors: Clarissa Willett — 336-436-5076 

Multi-year deal will enhance lab services for patients and providers throughout eastern Gulf Coast region 
BURLINGTON, N.C., Sept. 29, 2020 — LabCorp (NYSE: LH), a leading global life sciences company that is focused on advancing health and guiding patient care decisions, and Infirmary Health, the largest non-governmental health care system in Alabama, today announced that they have entered into a multi-year collaboration to provide laboratory services to patients and providers throughout the eastern Gulf Coast region. LabCorp, which has a long-standing presence in Alabama through laboratory facilities in Birmingham, will provide lab management, phlebotomy and logistics services, and reference testing to Infirmary Health.
“LabCorp is excited to work with Infirmary Health to enhance and expand the laboratory experience for patients and providers across southern Alabama,” said Chris Bosler, senior vice president of LabCorp Diagnostics’ Southeast Division. “We look forward to partnering with Infirmary Health to provide high-quality laboratory services to improve patient care.”

LabCorp’s initial focus is to improve lab testing turnaround time and accelerate access to innovative diagnostics for Infirmary Health’s acute care facilities. In addition to providing diagnostic testing services, LabCorp will also help Infirmary Health increase its capacity for COVID-19 testing to support patients throughout Alabama. 
Infirmary Health recently underwent a complete laboratory transformation so it could fully utilize LabCorp services. The process, which was complicated by the global pandemic, required unprecedented coordination to maintain safety and quality. Within weeks, LabCorp and Infirmary Health were able to bring new laboratory instruments online, increase lab staffing, and train employees on new laboratory platforms, to support the shared goal of bringing world-class diagnostics to Infirmary Health patients across the region. Together, LabCorp and Infirmary Health are realizing their shared goals of improving health outcomes and the overall quality of care for the communities they serve.
“Infirmary Health is committed to providing accessible, quality healthcare throughout our communities,” said Mark Nix, President & CEO Infirmary Health. “As a highly regarded laboratory with strong roots in Alabama, LabCorp’s expertise will help bring an enhanced laboratory experience to Infirmary Health, including testing for COVID-19 that is vitally needed by the providers and patients we serve.”

About Infirmary Health
Infirmary Health serves an 11-county area of south Alabama and north Escambia County, Florida, with more than 700 active physicians on the medical staff and more than 6,000 employees. Infirmary Health is composed of four acute care hospitals, three post-acute facilities, a physician clinic network with more than 60 locations, six diagnostic imaging centers, two full service breast centers and two freestanding emergency departments, along with other affiliated entities.
To learn more about Infirmary Health, visit

About LabCorp
LabCorp (NYSE: LH), an S&P 500 company, is a leading global life sciences company that is deeply integrated in guiding patient care, providing comprehensive clinical laboratory and end-to-end drug development services. With a mission to improve health and improve lives, LabCorp delivers world-class diagnostics solutions, brings innovative medicines to patients faster, and uses technology to improve the delivery of care. LabCorp reported revenue of more than $11.5 billion in 2019. 
To learn more about LabCorp, visit, and to learn more about LabCorp’s drug development business, Covance, visit

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including but not limited to statements with respect to scientific collaborations, customer contracts and relationships, the anticipated benefits of such collaboration and relationships, and the expected impact that the various collaborations and customer relationships may have on the Company’s financial results. Each of the forward-looking statements is subject to change based on various important factors, many of which are beyond the Company’s control, including without limitation, the Company’s ability to establish and maintain strategic partnerships and other scientific collaborations, competitive actions in the marketplace, and other unforeseen changes and general uncertainties in the marketplace, changes in government regulations, including healthcare reform, customer purchasing decisions, including changes in payer regulations or policies, adverse actions of governmental and other third-party payers, patient safety issues, changes in testing guidelines or recommendations. These factors, in some cases, have affected and in the future (together with other factors) could affect the Company’s ability to implement the Company’s business strategy and actual results could differ materially from those suggested by these forward-looking statements. As a result, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any of our forward-looking statements. The Company has no obligation to provide any updates to these forward-looking statements even if its expectations change. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Further information on potential factors, risks and uncertainties that could affect operating and financial results is included in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent Forms 10-Q, including in each case under the heading RISK FACTORS, and in the Company’s other filings with the SEC.

Infirmary Medical Clinics announces the opening of Thomas Hospital Internal Medicine Clinic in Fairhope, AL

Monday, September 28, 2020

Mobile, Ala.— Infirmary Medical Clinics is proud to announce the opening of Thomas Hospital Internal Medicine Clinic in Fairhope, AL. Beginning September 28, patients can be seen Monday – Friday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. This clinic specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of adults with chronic medical conditions such as COPD, diabetes, heart disease and endocrine issues. The doctors will also guide patients in health promotion and disease prevention. For appointments, please call 251-279-1245.

Thomas Hospital Internal Medicine Clinic is an integral part of the internal medicine residency program established by Thomas Hospital. Last spring, Thomas Hospital was approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) as an accredited site for an internal medicine residency program. In addition to formal training and educational opportunities, the inaugural class of residents will make rounds with experienced physicians at both Thomas Hospital and North Baldwin Infirmary and will work alongside physicians in the hospitals’ emergency departments and Thomas Hospital Emergency - Malbis. These resident physicians will see patients and provide care in the clinic under the direction of supervising physicians.

Infirmary Medical Clinics (IMC) serve the entire Gulf Coast region with more than 50 medical clinics covering more than 48 specialties. IMC continues to expand its network of quality physicians and medical clinics to further bolster Infirmary Health’s position as the FIRST CHOICE for healthcare.

What are hospitalists? | BEST Magazine - August 2020

Thursday, September 10, 2020
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Infirmary Health hospitalists are an integrated team, providing patients with comprehensive care while inside the hospital. Infirmary Health’s electronic medical record allows the hospitalists to see all of the medical history of patients who see other Infirmary Health physicians in a clinic setting, whether it be a specialist or primary care doctor.
What are hospitalists?
Hospitalists are physicians who specialize in the general medical care of hospitalized patients. Infirmary Health’s hospitalists operate as a large group practice to provide inpatient services to children and/or adults. Most are trained in general internal medicine. Once patients are admitted, the hospitalist takes on responsibility for their care for the entirety of the patients’ stay.'Although you may not be familiar with the term hospitalist, the field has more than 50,000 physicians. That is substantially larger than any subspecialty of internal medicine and about the same size as pediatrics. Approximately 75 percent of U.S. hospitals now have hospitalists. The hospitalist role is based on the concept that the more experience a physician has with in-hospital care, the better the quality of care. Research has proven this to be true. Evidence shows that hospitalists may help reduce costs and enhance patient satisfaction. And they do not have to juggle a busy office schedule with hospital rounds. The hospital is, in effect, their office. This often results in shorter hospital stays because hospitalists are on hand full-time to perform medical procedures, design treatment plans and other duties. 

Working with your personal physician
In addition to the benefits they provide in the hospital setting, hospitalists can also improve the productivity in physicians’ offices. Office-based physicians who work with hospitalists do not have to make frequent trips to the hospital, so they can instead concentrate more fully on their office appointments and calls. Patients who may be a little uncomfortable at the prospect of seeing a different doctor while they are in the hospital can rest assured: Their personal physician will not be kept out of the loop. Hospitalists inform patients’ personal physicians of all major decisions made in the hospital and send them complete discharge summaries. While the idea of hospitalists may be new to you, keep an open mind. These trained physicians are a fantastic resource and will dedicate their time to reducing the confusion of your hospital stay and guiding you through treatment.
Wendell Erdman, M.D., is the medical director of the Infirmary Health Hospitalists program and has served as a leader throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you to Dr. Erdman and all the caregivers who continue to go above and beyond for our patients.

What are key indicators for potential neurological disorders?

Thursday, September 10, 2020
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Q: What are key indicators for potential neurological disorders?
A: Neurologic disorders are diseases of the brain, spine and nerves that can affect any part of the body. Any progressive headache, focal weakness or numbness, loss of vision, loss of ability to walk or balance could signal a neurologic problem. Common neurological disorders include:
• Acute spinal cord injury
• Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
• Bell’s palsy
• Brain tumors
• Head injury
• Hydrocephalus
• Herniated disk
• Multiple sclerosis
• Myasthenia gravis
• Seizures
• Stroke
Dr. Amber Gordon
Infirmary Nuerosurgery
Learn more at OR call 251-435-6850 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gordon.

How important are yearly checkups with your physician?

Thursday, September 10, 2020
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Q: How important are yearly checkups with your physician?
A: Very! Your wellness visit is set aside for you and your doctor or primary care provider (PCP) to discuss measures that may be put in place to improve your health and decrease your chances of developing health problems. You and your doctor/PCP will review various factors that may pose a risk to your health. This will include a review of your family, personal and social histories. Using this information, your doctor/PCP has the opportunity to provide you with the tools and resources available to decrease your risk of developing diseases. Some diseases may be prevented by vaccines, changing your lifestyle or using tests to detect diseases or precursors of disease before you have any symptoms.
To prepare for your checkup, make a record of aspects of your health history that you are likely to forget. (For example, do you recall the date of your last mammogram and where it was done?) If you haven’t already done so, now’s the time to schedule your annual wellness appointment.
Donessa Fraser, M.D.
Family Medicine Physician at
Diagnostic & Medical Clinic | Northside Clinic
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Fraser by calling 251-675-4733 or visiting online at

Infirmary Cancer Care announces the addition of Olivia Claire Ball, M.D.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020
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Mobile, Ala. – Olivia Claire Ball, M.D., joins Infirmary Cancer Care (ICC) from CHI Saint Joseph Health in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Ball is now accepting patients through referral for radiation oncology. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Washington and Lee University in Richmond, Virginia. She completed her medical doctorate and radiation oncology residency with the University of Alabama at Birmingham as well as an internship with Baptist Health System in Birmingham, Alabama.
ICC provides a comprehensive program and streamlined access to care for patients. Their multidisciplinary team of experts collaborate on each patient's case during our renowned weekly tumor conferences; access is also provided to personal cancer navigators, who guide patients every step of the way. ICC has been recognized by the Commission on Cancer for our commitment to providing comprehensive, high-quality and multidisciplinary patient care.
Dr. Ball is available to see patients in Mobile and Fairhope. Please schedule referrals and consults by calling 251-435-2273.

Infirmary Medical Clinics announces expansion of Cardio-Thoracic and Vascular Surgical Associates with Kareem H. Bedeir, M.D., M.S.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020
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Mobile, Ala. – Kareem H. Bedeir, M.D., M.S., joins Cardio-Thoracic and Vascular Surgical Associates (CTVSA) following the completion of his fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery with Brigham and Women’s Hospital – Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass., where he received the John J. Collins, Jr. Cardiothoracic Surgeon Scholars Award. CTVSA has served the Gulf Coast region for more than 40 years with expert, advanced and quality care in the areas of cardiac, thoracic and vascular health including diagnostic, surgical and rehabilitative care. CTVSA joined Infirmary Medical Clinics in Dec. 2019.
Dr. Bedeir earned his medical degree from the University of Alexandria in Egypt. He completed surgical residencies at the University of Alexandria in Egypt as well as Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, Md. During his residency at Sinai Hospital, he was awarded the Program Director’s Award for excellence in medical knowledge, as well as the Chief of Surgery Award for excellence in research. He joins Infirmary Health after completing two fellowships at Brigham and Women’s Hospital – Harvard Medical School; a surgical critical care fellowship, and a two-year cardiothoracic surgery fellowship. Dr. Bedeir is widely published on cardiothoracic surgery as well authoring two chapters in Springer’s Cardiac Surgery: A Complete Guide, a widely used academic textbook. Dr. Bedeir is double board certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Surgical Critical Care, and is board-eligible in cardiothoracic surgery.
Learn more about the services offered by CTVSA by visiting or calling 251-471-3544.
Infirmary Medical Clinics (IMC) serve the entire Gulf Coast region with more than 50 medical clinics covering more than 20 specialities. IMC continues to expand its network of quality  physicians and medical clinics in an effort to further bolster Infirmary Health’s position as the FIRST CHOICE for healthcare.

Infirmary Medical Clinics announces the affiliation of Christopher Clarke, M.D. with Coastal Medical Group

Wednesday, August 19, 2020
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Fairhope, Ala. – Christopher Clarke, M.D. joins Coastal Medical Group (CMG) following the completion of a fellowship in Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine at the University of South Alabama. CMG joined Infirmary Health in 2011 with the foundation of Dr. John McDuff’s more than 35 years of practice in Baldwin County. The clinic has grown to include seven physicians with a diverse specialty offering including family medicine, internal medicine, pulmonary disease, critical care medicine, and sleep medicine.
Dr. Clarke is a graduate of Tulane University and the University of Louisville Medical School. While at the University of Louisville, Dr. Clarke received a master’s degree, doctor of medicine and completed his residency. Dr. Clarke and his family are residents of Fairhope, Ala.
Learn more about the services offered by Coastal Medical Group by visiting or calling 251-929-3424.
Infirmary Medical Clinics (IMC) serve the entire Gulf Coast region with more than 50 medical clinics covering more than 20 specialities. IMC continues to expand its network of quality  physicians and medical clinics in an effort to further bolster Infirmary Health’s position at the FIRST CHOICE for healthcare.

Infirmary Cancer Care announces the addition of Kannan Thanikachalam, M.D.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020
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Mobile, Ala. – Kannan Thanikachalam, M.D., joins Infirmary Cancer Care (ICC) and Diagnostic and Medical Clinic (DMC) following the completion of a fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Mich. Dr. Thanikachalam is now available to see patients in Mobile, Saraland, Fairhope and Bay Minette.

Dr. Thanikachalam holds a bachelor’s degree in medicine and surgery from Stanley Medical College in Chennai, India. He completed his internship and residency with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical School in Montgomery, Ala., where he served as Chief Resident. Throughout his residency and fellowship, Dr. Thanikachalam engaged in clinical research and scholarly presentation related to his specialty and specifically in the area of gastrointestinal and genitourinary oncology. Topics included the role of nutrition in colon cancer and the impact of COVID-19 among cancer patients in Michigan. He has been involved in a clinical trial for patients with pancreatic cancer.

ICC provides a comprehensive program and streamlined access to care for patients. Their multidisciplinary team of experts collaborate on each patient's case during our renowned weekly tumor conferences; access is also provided to personal cancer navigators, who guide patients every step of the way. ICC has been recognized by the Commission on Cancer for our commitment to providing comprehensive, high-quality and multidisciplinary patient care.

For more than 70 years, DMC has provided trusted, quality care to the Gulf Coast communities. As the largest private multi-specialty clinic in Alabama it is home to more than 80 physicians treating a broad range of specialties. Please schedule referrals and consults by calling 251-435-2273.

MORE Awards Winners - July 2020

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Please join us in congratulating the employees and departments who were recognized across our system for the month of July, 2020. The theme was "You inspire me to be a better person!" Winners are employees who are encouragers, upbeat no matter what obstacles arise, display a great attitude and their exude happiness that is contagious.


Austin Vivar - 3 West | Mobile Infirmary

Audra Essig - Case Management | Mobile Infirmary

Stephanie Hill - 3 North West | Mobile Infirmary

Savannah Colley - 5 North West | Mobile Infirmary

Antoinette Gulley - 3 South | Thomas Hospital

Trella Boone - Therapy Services | Infirmary Health

Sonia Williams - CCU | North Baldwin Infirmary


MICU | Mobile Infirmary

Lab | Thomas Hospital

Infection Prevention | North Baldwin Infirmary

These awards, organized by our Customer Service department, recognizes employees for service that goes above and beyond. Nominees are submitted by peers and administration. A committee then selects the winners who have demonstrated a commitment to our goals and values.

Infirmary Cancer Care announces the addition of Addison Willett, M.D., J.D., M.B.A.

Thursday, July 16, 2020
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Infirmary Cancer Care announces the addition of Addison Willett, M.D., J.D., M.B.A.

Mobile, Ala. – Addison Willett, M.D., J.D., M.B.A, joins Infirmary Cancer Care (ICC) following the completion of a residency in Radiation Oncology with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa. Dr. Willett is now accepting patients through referral for radiation oncology. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Haverford College in Pennsylvania, as well a Juris Doctorate and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Richmond. He completed his Medical Doctorate and internship with Louisiana State University Health in Shreveport, La.

ICC provides a comprehensive program and streamlined access to care for patients. Their multidisciplinary team of experts collaborate on each patient's case during our renowned weekly tumor conferences; access is also provided to personal cancer navigators, who guide patients every step of the way. ICC has been recognized by the Commission on Cancer for our commitment to providing comprehensive, high-quality and multidisciplinary patient care.

Dr. Willett is available to see patients in Mobile and Fairhope. Please schedule referrals and consults by calling 251-435-2273.

Diagnostic and Medical Clinic is setting the standard for quality care with Respiratory Evaluation Center

Monday, June 15, 2020
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For more than 70 years, Diagnostic and Medical Clinic (DMC), an affiliate of Infirmary Health, has provided trusted, quality care to the Gulf Coast communities. In order to evolve with today's healthcare landscape, DMC has established a Respiratory Evaluation Center on its Springhill Avenue campus.
The Respiratory Evaluation Center is separate from the main clinic building and is designed to treat patients with any respiratory complaints or symptoms. This includes patients receiving COVID-19 tests, as well as those with respiratory symptoms including but not limited to cough, shortness of breath, sinus congestion, running nose and fever. Patients can make an appointment for the Respiratory Evaluation Center and will be seen by a physician. As the largest private multi-specialty clinic in Alabama, DMC is proud to offer this service to patients.
In-office appointments are also now available with all DMC physicians for new and existing patients. When applicable, Telemedicine appointments are available. All persons who enter the facility, including patients, physicians and staff, will be screened and required to wear a mask prior to entry. If patients do not have a mask, one will be provided. Patients are permitted one caregiver as deemed medically necessary by the staff.
DMC has modified its facilities to keep all patients and medical professionals safe. Front desks have been equipped with plexiglass sneeze guards, and waiting rooms have been reconfigured to allow for social distancing. Our staff continues to follow the CDC's infection prevention protocol and works constantly and consistently to keep the facilities clean and sanitized.
Diagnostic and Medical Clinic is setting the standard for quality care. Call 251-435-1200 to schedule an appointment or visit us online at

Calling all Men! | Men's Health Month

Monday, June 15, 2020
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June is Men’s Health Month with the week before Father’s Day set aside as Men’s Health Week. It is an opportunity for men to take care of themselves. Men die more frequently than women from nine of the top 10 causes of death in the United States. of those most common causes, men die almost 25% of the time from cardiovascular disease and 22% of the time from cancer. The second leading cause of death in all men is cancer at 22%. Men are much less likely to go to the doctor for annual visits than women. Those visits are key to identifying and minimizing risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes and obesity. Take the opportunity this month to consider your health or that of your son, husband or father. Here, we consider hypertension as it is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease. 
Hypertension can be silent. Men may not know they are carrying the risk. Men will say they feel fine, and there is no need to see a doctor. Often, men are waiting for a symptom to prompt them to seek care. This can lead to carrying unchecked risk for cardiovascular for years. The effects of hypertension over time can lead to changes in the heart muscle, vessel damage, kidney injury and several other complications. Seeing a physician and addressing hypertension early will help to avoid poor outcomes.
Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHG. Anything above that, when measured appropriately, is elevated blood pressure with stage 1 hypertension beginning at >130/80 mmHG. Men and women should check their blood pressure periodically on their own or go see their physician. Blood pressure is a variable and only needs to be acted on when measurements are taken properly. To get a valid reading a patient should be sitting, at rest for a few minutes, have a properly fitting blood pressure cuff and not be under the effects of caffeine/stress/pain. Your physician does value measurements taken at home. “White coat” hypertension, blood pressure elevated in the clinic but not at home, is seen in some patients. It is important to see a physician if pressures are found to be >120/80 consistently.
We treat hypertension in order to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. That risk can be drastically reduced in many patients. Initial treatment can be to change a diet or to increase exercise. Eating more fruit and vegetables and cutting back on meats, sweets and snacks works for prevention and can help with treatment. Limiting sodium intake and alcohol consumption helps as well. There is no one exercise program that is appropriate for all men, but in general, patients should try to get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week. Medications are also used to good effect. Good communication between men and their physicians should allow for a regimen of diet, exercise or medications that are effective and well tolerated.
Men, this is your month. Call today and schedule an appointment for an annual physical. A physical allows your physician to address your risks for a variety of diseases and underlying conditions. Remember, you may have hypertension, hyperlipidemia or diabetes and not know. You can be asymptomatic, or your symptoms can develop so slowly over time that you don’t realize they’re abnormal. Use Men’s Health Month as your prompt. Take care of yourself.
Dr. Jason Harrison is a Internal Medicine physician with Diagnostic and Medical Clinic. Diagnostic and Medical Clinic is the state's largest private multi-speciality clinic with more than 80 physicians covering a broad range of specialities. Learn more about Diagnostic and Medical Clinic at or call 251-435-1200 to schedule an appointment. 

Grand Summer Ball 2020 Cancelled

Monday, June 15, 2020

Grand Summer Ball 2020 Cancelled
The Grand Summer Ball is a special event that we look forward to all year. It’s a time where people come together to enjoy music and food and just to share the joy of fellowship. Most importantly, it raises much needed funds for Thomas Hospital.
Our world has forever been changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. At Thomas Hospital and Infirmary Health, we remain passionate about protecting and improving your health. This has led us to the very difficult decision of cancelling the 2020 Grand Summer Ball. Our hope is that the future will provide a safe environment for us to celebrate and enjoy this wonderful event.
A special thanks to this year’s GSB Co-Chairs Anna Bruckmann and Courtney Malouf. They have worked so hard and will carry their fabulous plans into making the 2021 Grand Summer Ball an evening to remember.
You will be hearing from us soon as to how you can continue contributing to the care being provided by the physicians and staff at Thomas Hospital.
You are needed more than ever so that we can continue to provide exceptional healthcare for you, your family and friends.
Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or you are interested in learning more about the Grand Summer Ball and the Thomas Hospital Foundation.
Thank you for your support and the significant impact you make within the lives of our patients.
We are all in this together.
Kathy Baugh, Executive Director
Thomas Hospital Foundation
P.S. For more updates on the Grand Summer Ball, please “like” the Thomas Hospital Foundation Facebook page.

Keep Your Summer Fun | Infirmary Pediatrics

Tuesday, June 9, 2020
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Keep your family's summer fun with these safety tips from James B. Harrell, M.D., pediatrician, at Infirmary Pediatrics in Mobile, Alabama.
Sun exposure injuries are extremely common in the Gulf Coast region. They can range in intensity from a mild reddening of the skin to blistering second degree burns, and at its worst, polymorphous light eruption, also known as “sun poisoning.” Here are best practices for the entire family:
- If you will be outside for an hour or more, apply a broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen.
- Use a 30 SPF or higher sunscreen that protects against both A and B ultraviolet radiation.
- Apply one to two ounces over all sun exposed skin 15-30 minutes prior to the outdoor activity.
- Wear wide-brimmed hats, rash guards and other protective clothing depending on the activity.
- Protect your eyes with UV rated sunglasses.
- Avoid sun exposure during peak sun brightness.
- Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen at least every two hours while outdoors. 
If you or your child do experience a sunburn, treat mild burns by cooling skin with cool, wet compresses, pain medication and cleaning with soap and water. However, if severe blistering occurs, consult your physician.
Insect bites
We see a lot of pesky critters in the spring and summer months such as mosquitos, ants, bees and ticks. They can cause skin injuries and be uncomfortable for your child to handle. One of the best things you can do is find an appropriate insect repellant. But there are many options on the market and finding one can be a daunting task. Studies show that products containing 10-30% DEET or Picaridin are equally effective and have minimal side effects. Products with BioUD, PMD (oil of lemon eucalyptus) are also effective. Products containing IR3535, natural oils or citronella don’t appear to be as effective. Repellant bracelets and electronic devices that produce high-pitched sounds are ineffective.
If you or your child do get a insect bite, first clean the bites with soap and warm water. Take special care to remove stingers from the skin to avoid further infection. Then apply an antibiotic ointment if the bite has an open wound. Keep a topical or oral antihistamine or topical steroid cream on hand in case you or your child do end up with an insect bite. These products can reduce the annoying itching sensation that can be so bothersome for young children and adults. Agitating the skin by scratching can lead to infection.
Heat-related Injuries
Another hazard when playing or working outdoors in the summer months is the risk of becoming overheated in our humid climate. High heat indexes increase your and your child’s risk for dehydration, muscle cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. When planning on extended time outside for your family or child, provide adequate water, take frequent activity breaks and search out shaded rest areas. If your child is on a sports field, keep an eye out for heat-related injury symptoms such as rapid heart rate, hyperventilation, light-headedness and fainting, headache, nausea/vomiting, confusion, sweating profusely or not sweating. These symptoms can be treated quickly with hydration, rest and cooling. If the individual does not respond to those methods, seek medical attention at an urgent care or emergency department.
Water Injuries
We all love to splish-splash in the summertime in the pool, lake or Gulf. No child should ever swim alone. It’s important to observe your child when swimming, boating or jet skiing.  If you have a pool at home, consider safety measures such keeping floatation devices near the pool as well as having an isolating four-sided fence with locking gates to prevent accidents. When out on any watercraft, make sure that all individuals have life jackets appropriate for their size. We encourage all pool and boat owners to become CPR certified so that in case of an accident, life saving measures can be administered immediately. If the beach is more your speed, keep a close eye on the flag warnings of the day. One of the most important safety precautions you can take for your child is to enroll them swimming lessons. Survival swim lessons are also available for your infant, ages six months and older.
Riding injuries
Children and adolescents love to go fast. Kids who are skateboarding or bike riding should always wear helmets and appropriate protective gear such as need and elbow pads. For motorized activity vehicles, such as ATVs and Go-Carts, drivers and passengers should taught how to drive safely as well as required wear protective safety gear. In addition, these recreational vehicles should not be ridden on paved streets or the shoulder of the road. Keep the rides on designated trails and at safe speeds. 
Infirmary Pediatrics wants you to have a safe and healthy summer! Schedule a check-up today by calling 251-435-KIDS (5437).

Kids & Allergies | Infirmary Pediatrics

Tuesday, June 9, 2020
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By Debra E. Gardner, M.D., F.A.A.P
Is your child suffering with itchy, runny nose, watery, itchy eyes, sneezing, itchy throat or ear and/or nasal congestion? What about postnasal drip, cough or sinus headaches?  Well, if they are, they may have allergies. This time of the year is well known to be high in spring allergens, specifically pollen to things such as grasses, weeds and trees.  There are also allergens in the fall (i.e. ragweed and molds), as well as perennial or year-round indoor allergens (i.e. pets, dust and cockroach). Allergies can start at any time and as early as six months of age but usually occur in children over the age of two. To determine if your child has allergies, there are three types of testing that can be performed: skin prick tests, specific blood tests and non-specific blood tests.
Allergens when inhaled by the nose cause the body to recognize the allergen as foreign, which causes the body to produce and release chemicals, histamine and leukotriene to combat the allergen. This histamine and leukotriene release causes the symptoms that we see.  Hence, we try to provide relief from these allergens with short and long acting anti-histamines. Many of these medicines are available over the counter. We encourage you to read the packaging carefully and consult your pediatrician about age limits, appropriate dosages and any reactions. Occasionally, long-term use of one or more of these can lead to a tolerance where the medication does not seem to bring relief of symptoms anymore, prompting a change to a different antihistamine.
These antihistamines do not seem to help much with nasal congestion, which may lead to adding decongestants like phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine (i.e. Sudafed, Mucinex D) to the regime. These are not approved for children under 6 years of age. Nasal sprays can also combat the congestion problem without the risks and side effects of the decongestants. These contain steroids that help with the inflammation. However, proper use of these nasal sprays is required to reap the benefits and avoid the risks. Please consult your pediatrician on the appropriate products, proper use and technique.
If allergies are not treated, they can lead to complications such as ear and sinus infections, enlarged adenoids or tonsils, mouth breathing, snoring, sleep apnea and attention/learning problems. While it can be cumbersome to take pills and spray nostrils every day, complications may occur if children are non-compliant with recommended regimens. 
You can take practical steps to limit your child's exposure to allergens and fight off reactions.

  • Changing clothes, washing hands and face after being outside
  • Wiping off hair after being outside.
  • Eating healthy and exercising
  • Taking daily multivitamins with extra vitamin c.
  • Adding a teaspoon of local honey to your child’s diet.
  • Remove old carpet.
  • Use mattress and pillow covers.
  • Consider a HEPA air purifier for your child’s room or the house.
  • Frequently vacuum and dust.

Your pediatrician is here to help provide relief to your child’s allergies so that they can get back to being a kid! Schedule a check-up today by calling 251-435-KIDS (5437).
Infirmary Pediatrics is open Monday thru Friday 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Like us on Facebook for the latest updates!

Convalescent Plasma Program - Rachel's Story

Thursday, June 4, 2020

In early April, Infirmary Health began a convalescent plasma program to treat our most critical COVID-19 patients. Rachel, a nurse at Mobile Infirmary, was one of the patients to receive the plasma treatment. Since receiving the treatment, Rachel has recovered and is back to caring for patients. Read Rachel's story below and learn why this program means so much to her and her family.

The first day I began to feel bad, my only symptom was a fever of 99.0. That increased throughout the night to 101.0 along with body aches and chills. The extreme weakness, fatigue, and nausea hit me with my fever rising to 101.9. The day I was admitted to the hospital, my temperature reached 102.2. In the emergency room, my O2 saturation was noted to be 84%. I realized that the reason I felt so bad getting out of bed was due to severe shortness of breath. I had never been short of breath like this and did not realize that is how it felt.

My first night in the hospital my temperature reached 102.9, and my O2 saturation declined to 81% on 6 liters of oxygen. I was placed on a non-rebreather mask and my O2 saturation reached only around 89-90%. I was moved to another room for closer observation the next day. I was placed on hi-flow oxygen. This was adjusted throughout the night and day. The registered nurse came in and discussed receiving plasma. She reviewed all the benefits that could help with my recovery. I signed the consent and received the plasma that night.

The next day, I began to feel a little better. My nausea began to disappear. My fever never returned. But mainly, I FELT better than I had in weeks. Each day thereafter, I improved. I was able to eat a little. I was able to get out of bed. The hi-flow oxygen was being weaned down. With this continued improvement, I was discharged home a week later.

I believe that receiving the plasma helped save my life. I have never been so sick and was scared I would never see my family again. I will give plasma as well to help save lives. The COVID-19 virus is deadly, and these patients need every bit of help they can receive. Plasma is one of the ways that can help improve symptoms and aid in a speedy recovery.

Rachel M.