A new primary care center is open now in Carrollton, Alabama helping fill the void left when the Pickens County Medical Center closed there in January 2020.

The new clinic, a branch of the University of Alabama's University Medical Center, will provide the community with a variety of services aimed at improving healthcare in rural parts of Alabama.

Services offered include family medicine, obstetrics care, sports medicine, EGD’s and colonoscopy consults. One practitioner, Dr. Catherine Skinner, provides prenatal care once a week and has done so for more than a decade.

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“University Medical Center has long had a presence in Carrollton, Alabama, but with the closure of the hospital there in early 2020, followed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we believed it to be imperative to increase the care we provide there,” said Dr. Richard Friend, Dean of The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences.

Alabama’s COVID-19 vaccination rate is still very low, with only around 37 percent of the population fully vaccinated according to CDC data.

Numbers shared by the Alabama Department of Public Health show that number dropping just below 27 percent in Pickens County specifically.

“Carrollton is not unlike other rural communities in Alabama, which suffer from a lack of healthcare services and providers and that struggle with hospital closures,” Friend said. “Our mission at UMC is to help improve the health of the individuals and communities in rural Alabama, and expanding access to care in Carrollton, particularly health care, is one way we are meeting that mission.”

According to a press release, UMC is the largest multi-specialty practice in West Alabama with more than 150,000 annual patient visits across their five locations: Tuscaloosa, Northport, Demopolis, Fayette and now Carrollton.

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