Care close to home: Cahaba Medical Care has served Maplesville since 2015
Published 4:52 pm Wednesday, March 30, 2022
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article originally published in the February 2022 edition of “Chilton County Wellness.” Copies are available at The Clanton Advertiser office, 1109 Seventh Street N in Clanton.
STORY BY SCOTT MIMS
PHOTOS BY KEITH MCCOY
Cahaba Medical Care opened in Maplesville in November 2015, providing another option for medical care to the area.
Now, it is the only doctor’s office in town, allowing patients to be seen closer to home rather than driving 25 minutes or more for medical services.
Since opening, the Maplesville office has served more than 2,100 individual patients.
The Centreville-based company operates 19 locations in central, west-central and north-central Alabama and offers medical services, video chats, pediatrics, social work, a pharmacy and much more throughout its network.
The Maplesville office, located at 9431 Alabama Highway 22 in historic downtown, is currently undergoing a facelift to install new flooring and other modifications but remains in full operation while serving residents of the town and the surrounding area.
Amanda Brown, nurse and office manager of the Maplesville clinic, said Cahaba Medical Care has meant a great deal to Maplesville residents like her.
“There are numerous stories, like elderly people who can’t drive to Alabaster, Birmingham or Clanton even, so now they have a primary care provider in their hometown,” Brown said. “I’m from here; I’ve lived here almost all my life, so it’s been fun being able to serve our community and people that we do life with.”
Through its multiple offices, Cahaba Medical Care offers family medicine, primary care, routine checkups and preventive care, chronic disease management, nutrition counseling, obstetrics and gynecology, COVID-19 testing and vaccines, optometry, wound care, nephrology, X-rays and physical therapy. Pediatric services include well child and sick child checks, regular checkups, vision and hearing screenings,
vaccinations, growth and development evaluations, referrals to specialists as needed and sports physicals.
CMC also offers social services such as behavioral health and counseling.
Brown noted that CMC accepts all insurances and has a sliding fee program for uninsured patients. This sliding fee program is based on income.
“Our mission is very similar to my mission, and that is to serve all people, but to meet the needs of the people around us, and I think we’ve done a good job with that,” Christy Hunter, a nurse practitioner at the Maplesville location, said. “Our quality has shown that we have less health care disparity rates than some other places, and so we do our best for everybody who walks through the door, whether they have insurance or not.”
For patients who regularly see specialists, such as someone who has had a kidney transplant, Cahaba Medical Care in Maplesville can shorten drive times for people who need laboratory results, Brown pointed out. Patients may also be referred to the Centreville location for certain procedures, such as ultrasounds and echocardiograms.
“Instead of driving to Birmingham to get labs monthly, they come here, and then we send the labs to their specialist,” Brown said. “We have another patient that gets home infusions, and so that nurse will bring his labs to our clinic, so they don’t have to drive out of town.”
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant part of CMC’s services has been to provide COVID-19 vaccines to those who want them. Brown said people have come from across the state to get vaccines, especially at times when they have been difficult to obtain.
“We had people (from) as far as Auburn come down here,” she said.
Vaccinations were scheduled from 1:30-5 p.m. with 20 or so being vaccinated a day.
“It peaked at 80,” Brown said. “We serve more than our town. When we first opened, it was mostly local people, but now we have people coming from Calera, Montgomery, Prattville. We’re growing, and we’ve had an opening for a physician here for two years.”
Hunter said the pandemic turned everything upside down, but CMC still found a way to serve patients. Video chats and eVisits helped to bridge that gap.
“They wanted to stay at home and kind of shelter in place, and we shifted gears to provide the services for testing as well as later on vaccinations and treatment as much as we could,” Hunter said. “We never closed our doors; we continued to work. Just now, it still has peaks and valleys of that, but we’re back to primary care. You know, people need their diabetes taken care of, their hypertension, congestive heart failure, things like that.”
Another nurse practitioner, Amanda Seales, said she is working on her second year at Cahaba Medical Care but has lived in Maplesville for about 12 years.
“I love it because it helps the community members,” Seales said. “We help with their mental well-being, their physical well-being, and we even provide aspects of the spiritual as well, if they need that. I love getting to treat those that I share the community with. There’s already that rapport there, because they know they kind of know you, and I think that brings an aspect of comfort.”