July 8, 2020
Physicians from University Medical Center are continuing to provide gynecological and prenatal care services in Carrollton, Alabama – and accepting new patients – even though the Pickens County Medical Center has closed.
UMC is operated by The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences.
Patients are seen by UMC physicians in Carrollton in the Healthplex building, in the former Carrollton Primary Care. Dr. Catherine Skinner provides prenatal care, and Dr. John McDonald provides gynecological services and sees patients referred to him by the county’s primary care physicians.
McDonald said he and Skinner provide care in Pickens County so that people don’t have to travel to Tuscaloosa, about 45 minutes away, to get the care they need. “There are a lot of good doctors in Carrollton, but the closure of the hospital creates a situation where, unfortunately for patients, for more specialized services they have to travel a long way,” McDonald said. “This is our way of getting some of those specialty services to patients so that they don’t have to travel so far.”
The 55-bed Pickens County Medical Center, the only hospital in the county, closed earlier this year, making it the seventh rural hospital in Alabama to close in the past nine years. Rural hospitals in the state and across the country have struggled to stay open amid financial difficulties. People living in rural areas tend to be older, in poorer health and less insured, resulting in a greater share of uncompensated care for rural hospitals.
Skinner is accepting new pregnant patients both in Carrollton and at UMC-Northport, where she primarily practices. She sees patients in Carrollton on Wednesdays. Prior to joining UMC, Skinner practiced for 10 years at Carrollton Primary Care and Pickens County Medical Center. New pregnant patients can call (205) 348-6700 to schedule an appointment, and those who wish to be seen in Carrollton should specify that they would like to be scheduled there.
McDonald provides gynecological services every other Tuesday in Carrollton from 8 am to noon. He has provided gynecological care in the county for the past 15 years. Patients, including new patients, can call (205) 348-5285 to make an appointment.