Community members and leaders gathered to celebrate the grand opening of University Medical Center’s new Northport location on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015.
A ribbon cutting ceremony, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, was held at University Medical Center-Northport, and an open house for the public followed. The open house included tours of the clinic.
During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Dr. Richard Streiffer, dean of The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences, which operates UMC and UMC-Northport, said that opening the new location was part of the College’s effort to address the state’s shortage of primary care physicians and health care professionals.
“We know primary care and family medicine and the training we undertake are key to a healthcare system that is not only more effective, but more accessible and more prevention-oriented and ultimately results in improved population health, which is the mission of the College—to improve the health of the population,” he said.
He added, “We’ve outgrown our beautiful facility on campus, and we’re delighted to be able to open this facility in Northport and improve [health care] access for this part of the community and for the counties adjacent.”
UA President Stuart Bell spoke, saying that opening UMC-Northport is an offering of one of UA’s greatest resources to the community.
“As I think about what makes a community great and what is important to a community, first and foremost in that is providing excellent health care to our community, and I couldn’t be more proud to be here today and talk about the partnership we have between The University of Alabama and [Northport].”
Northport Mayor Bobby Herndon concluded the remarks with a proclamation: “I proclaim wisdom for the instructors, understanding for the students and the best health care possible for all citizens.”
Though the grand opening celebration was held on Aug. 26, UMC-Northport, which is located at 1325 McFarland Blvd., Suite 102, Northport, AL (in the Fitness One building) has been providing comprehensive, patient-centered care to the area in family medicine and obstetrics since its soft opening on July 1.
The opening of UMC-Northport was a relocation of UMC-Warrior Family Medicine, UMC’s location in Fairfax Park in Tuscaloosa, which closed in late June. Patients and providers from UMC-Warrior Family Medicine moved to UMC-Northport.
Dr. H. Joseph Fritz is clinic director at UMC-Northport, and he practices alongside Drs. Ray Brignac, Jennifer Clem, Catherine Skinner and nurse practitioner Lisa Brashier. Resident physicians Drs. Shawanda Agnew, Carrie Coxwell, Eric Frempong, Brianna Kendrick, Cheree Melton, Aisha Pitts, Efe Sahinoglu and Amy Wambolt, all of whom are part of The University of Alabama Family Medicine Residency, also see patients.
Dr. John Burkhardt, a clinical psychologist, will provide psychotherapy and related care at UMC-Northport starting Sept. 1
UMC and UMC-Northport provide care to the University and West Alabama community. Patients of all ages can receive care for the full spectrum of needs—from preventive care and wellness exams to management of chronic conditions, to treatment for acute illness and accidents.
UMC-Warrior Family Medicine was formed in 2014 after Fritz and his practice, Warrior Family Practice, joined the College. Fritz had been in private practice in Tuscaloosa since 1978.