Marshall Medical Centers on 100 SafeCare Hospitals list


Marshall Medical Centers has earned a place on the list of “100 SafeCare” hospitals in the country delivering the finest level of care.

MMC was recognized for healthcare quality in the group of hospitals between 100-400 beds for the “best processes of care, best outcomes of care and best efficacy of care.”

“If all U.S. hospitals attained the 100 SafeCare Hospitals level, there would be improvement in the more than 400,000 hospital deaths and close to 5.1 million preventable complications that occur each year,” stated the group in announcing the achievement.

The SafeCare Group analyzed hospital data to make the 2014-15 ratings. Areas looked at included:

  • Lowest mortality rates
  • Lowest readmissions
  • Lowest complication rates in medical and surgical care
  • Lowest in-hospital medical and surgical infection rates
  • Highest medical and surgical processes of care
  • Highest patient satisfaction scores

Only the 100 hospitals between 100-400 beds with the highest scores made the 100 SafeCare Hospitals list, according to the announcement.

“This distinction is one that Marshall Medical receives with pride because it was borne out of hard work,” said Gary Gore, CEO of Marshall Medical Centers. “Our staffs take very seriously the extensive requirements that make up the standard of quality patient care. They deserve national recognition like this.”

The SafeCare Group was founded in 2010 to help hospitals excel in the areas of patient safety, quality and efficiency. The SafeCare Group software helps hospitals comply with regulatory standards. It has published a 12-point surgical checklist as well as several checklists to avoid hospital falls and bedsores.

To see the complete list click on the link shown below:



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The 700 Club films at Marshall Medical for inspirational broadcast


Vanessa Crosson is a big believer in turning a negative into a positive. When her mother died on the night Vanessa should have been going to her senior prom, the tragedy stole her faith along with her mother. In her own words, she chose a life without God.

Her eventual return to her faith is recounted in her book, Among the Myrtle Trees – Restoring Abandoned Faith. Her inspirational story is the subject of an upcoming broadcast on The 700 Club. A producer and two photographers from the Christian Broadcasting Network came to film the former Marshall Medical South ICU nurse at her home and at the hospital where her mother died.

“It’s all about it being a positive experience,” she says.

Vanessa and her husband of 16 years, Trenton, live in Horton with their three young children. Trenton is currently in Afghanistan serving as security for the American Embassy. She works for Oral Surgery Associates in Huntsville. Her book is available at

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New clinic will help in early detection of lung cancer

pulmonary clinic docs

The opening of a new medical clinic in Marshall County this week offers faster diagnosis of spots that could be early lung cancer.

Marshall Medical Centers announces the opening of the Marshall Pulmonary Nodule Clinic March 3 to provide early detection and expedited care of lung cancer.

“This clinic will provide a standard approach for lung nodules and act as a community resource for ER doctors and community doctors that identify lung nodules in their patients,” said Dr. Christopher Manganaris of Pulmonary and Sleep Associates of Marshall County. “It will ensure adequate follow up and counseling for patients and family members with lung nodules.”

A lung nodule –commonly called ‘a spot on the lung’ – is a small mass of tissue in the lung that appears as round, white shadows on a chest x-ray or CT scan.

When a lung nodule diagnosis is made, doctors can refer the patient to the Nodule Clinic to meet with one of the pulmonary specialists within 72 business hours. There, the patient’s scans can be reviewed in an office setting. While 80 percent of pulmonary nodules are found to be benign and can come from an infection or scar tissue from an old infection, some are early signs of lung cancer and require prompt evaluation.

Dr. Manganaris said treatment of lung nodules has become very standardized over the last several years and is tailored to each patient’s circumstances.

“Risk assessment based on age, smoking history and the number of nodules determine how aggressive we need to be,” he said.

If a lung nodule is new or has changed in size, shape or appearance, a doctor may recommend further testing to determine if it is cancerous. Testing could include any of the following which are available in Marshall Medical’s Nodule Clinic:

  • Bronchoscopy – a procedure used to see the inside of the airways and lungs.
  • Tissue biopsy – a procedure to remove a piece of tissue or a sample of cells to be analyzed in a laboratory.
  • Low dose CT scan – special X-ray tests that produce cross-sectional images of the body.
  • CT guided biopsy – uses real-time CT images to ensure biopsy samples are accurately taken from the desired part of the lung.
  • PET scan – an imaging test that assists in the diagnosis of cancerous lesions.
  • Endobronchial ultrasound or EBUS – a technique to obtain tissue or fluid samples from the lungs and surrounding lymph nodes without conventional surgery.

Medicare covers lung cancer screening with Low Dose CT once a year for Medicare beneficiaries who meet all of the following criteria:

  • Age 55-77 and are either current smokers or have quit smoking within the past 15 years;
  • Have a tobacco smoking history average of one pack a day for 30 years;
  • Receive a written order from a physician or qualified non-physician practitioner that meets certain requirements.

Medicare coverage includes a visit for counseling and shared decision-making on the benefits and risks of lung cancer screening.

The Marshall Pulmonology Nodule Clinic is located in the Professional Center next door to Marshall Cancer Care Center, just south of Cracker Barrel in Guntersville. The Clinic is staffed by a group of physicians who take a team approach to treatment. They are:


  • Dr. Jenna Carpenter – Pulmonology
  • Dr. Gideon P. Ewing – Medical Oncology
  • Dr. Jonathan A. Storey – Medical Oncology
  • Dr. J.T. Payne – Radiation Oncology
  • Dr. Dustin Bright-Interventional Radiologist

Marshall Pulmonary Nodule Clinic is located on Highway 431 just south of the Guntersville Cracker Barrel. The street address is 11491 US Highway 431, Albertville, Alabama 35950. (256)894-6910 Visit us at:

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No snow days for hospital staff


Hospital employees don’t get to stay home when it snows! During the huge snowfall last week that kept most people cozy and warm at home, Marshall Medical Center employees were hard at work. More than 200 staff members slept at North and South hospitals to take care of patients. That’s what makes our hospitals the best!

Several staff members and physicians transported employees to and from work, and some even rescued staff that were stranded on the side of the road! A significant number of employees stayed more than one night.  Others came in early for their shift in order to allow an off- going staff member the ability to make it home.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE who went above and beyond to keep us going during the snow!


Staff from the Call Center slept in the Women’s Center at South so they could take shifts answering calls. All the rooms with beds were taken so they got to bed down on air mattresses. They still had some fun in the snow and got the job done! Below are Renee Wheeler and Tracy Johnson. THANK YOU ALL!

snow5 Snow8

These hard-working folks at North’s emergency department took a minute to pose in the snow.


They are: Jeff Ellis, Shae Watkins, Desi Cordell, Shae Mosley, Andrea Harell, Dr. Sparks, Hattie Freeman, Jennifer Medlin, Brittany Isom and Megan Wray. Thanks so much!


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Exercising in winter is important – These tips will help you do it right

Here are 5 tips for outdoor winter workouts:

1. Don’t Dress Like a Tough Guy

Last weekend, it was cold here in New York. Really cold. I layered up. I threw on a wool hat that covered my ears. I put on warm gloves and socks. And then I layered up again. I took no shame in bundling up like a 10-year-old going sledding on a snow day. While on my run, I saw a man running in nothing but running shorts and shoes – sans shirt! I couldn’t believe it. Some embrace cold workouts by going all-in and end up making it harder on themselves just win “tough points,” but they end up losing “smart points.” Layers help us manage air flow, body temperature, and moisture from sweat. The Mayo Clinic provides details on its website on how to layer-up effectively.

2. Drink Up

When it’s 80 degrees outside and we sweat buckets, reaching for a cold drink is as instinctive as breathing. When it’s freezing, we often overlook the integral part hydration plays in exercising safely. We sweat when it’s cold and we expend energy, even if we don’t seem that thirsty. In cold weather, the body’s thirst response is diminished by 40 percent due to blood vessel constriction tricking our minds into thinking we don’t need to drink up. It’s important to drink water before, during, and after exercising outdoors.

3. Grab a Buddy

It’s especially hard for many of us to motivate ourselves to exercise when it’s very cold out. This is a good time to partner up with a friend or participate with a group. Working out with others helps hold us accountable and offers a sense of athletic camaraderie. Running Coach Jenny Hadfield says, “You’ll have a built in motivational source, a friend to chat with along the way and it is safer to run in numbers. Running with others (or pets) is a great way to beat the winter doldrums.”

4. Grab a Shovel (New England Special)

As of yesterday, Boston winter snow totals had reached nearly eight feet, just 12 inches to go to hit the season record with much of winter to go. As frustrated as our New England friends must be, if you can’t beat them, join them. The “them” New Englanders can’t beat, of course, is the snow. Embracing the snow is the way to go. And what better way than grabbing that shovel and getting a good ‘ole fashioned workout with it. In between periods of moving snow from one large snowy mound to another, there are some effective exercises to partake in. Use a shovel to help improve squat form, as a lightweight to use to rotate your body and work the obliques, or carry snow for weighted deadlifts and lunges.

5. Clean Up Quickly

We layered up. We completed that long run, bike trail, or circuit training routine. Perhaps we even shoveled. And we’re home and exhausted. After stretching and doing our cool-down routine, the last thing we want to do is take all those layers off and jump in the shower. Do your best to resist the urge to delay cleaning up. It’s important to get out of the clothes that you wore pretty quickly. Sitting around in wet, cold clothes will make you vulnerable to getting sick and prevents your muscles from loosening up.snowy winter scene in a wood

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‘Through With Chew Week’ brings smokeless tobacco to the forefront

The week of Feb. 15–21 has been designated as “Through With Chew Week” in an effort to call attention to the dangers of smokeless tobacco use. The public awareness campaign is designed to reduce the use of smokeless tobacco among young people.

“Smokeless tobacco is not a safe alternative to cigarettes, as some young people believe,” said Bret Stanfield, communication coordinator for the Alabama Department of Public Health Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. “In fact, it is even more habit-forming because it contains a higher concentration of nicotine than cigarettes.”

According to the 2014 Alabama Youth Tobacco Survey, 9.7 percent of Alabama’s high school students are current smokeless tobacco users. That figure is down from 12.6 percent in 2012. Nationally, 6.4 percent of high school students use smokeless tobacco.

“Smokeless tobacco can cause oral cancer, especially in the cheeks, gums and throat,” said Stanfield. “The use of smokeless tobacco can also lead to other oral problems, such as mouth sores, gum recession, tooth decay, bad breath and permanent discoloration of teeth.”

Stanfield also said that smokeless tobacco use can sometimes be seen as a rite of passage among young people in Alabama, typically males. Smokeless tobacco is also used as an alternative nicotine source as it emits no smoke and can be used more discretely than cigarettes and in places where smoking is not allowed.

Parents and teachers are encouraged to participate in Through With Chew Week by educating their children on the dangers of smokeless tobacco use.

In Alabama, resources are available to help residents quit smokeless tobacco. The Alabama Tobacco Quitline offers free help to anyone ready to quit tobacco use, or to anyone who wants more information about quitting. The Quitline offers free coaching, a personalized quit plan, and two weeks of free nicotine patches if enrolled in coaching and medically eligible.

For more information on the Alabama Tobacco Quitline, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit

smokeless tobacco


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Ms. Senior Alabama is a regular at TherapyPlus Fitness

By Morgan Martin

Marshall Medical Centers

Therapy Plus is the place to go when you want to stay healthy or even begin a new healthy life style. With two great locations in the area, Boaz and Guntersville, it is hard to come up with an excuse as to why you would avoid going. Therapy Plus offers multiple fitness and wellness programs as well as all the equipment needed to enhance one’s physical health.

“We focus on wellness and fitness. Our main goal is to help you have a healthier lifestyle.” says Marsha Chadwick, the director of the wellness services at Therapy Plus.

It was these factors, as well as the helpful and friendly staff at Therapy Plus that has kept Renee Pierce, also known as Ms. Senior Alabama, a regular there. Pierce and her husband, Tommy, have made hitting the gym every Tuesday and Friday a habit since June. When asked what her motivation is Pierce says having her husband as her gym partner helps a lot, as does as having a personal trainer. When the couple mentioned their interest in working out regularly at Therapy Plus, a friend from church gave them the name of Keith Britton, a personal trainer there. “He doesn’t belittle you if you if you are not able to do something,” says Pierce. “Instead he’ll give you tips on how to eventually accomplish what you couldn’t do before. I expected to gain a lot of knowledge from a trainer, but it also makes a big difference that Keith is so likeable and very understanding.”

renee piercerenee pierce & trainerBritton has been a licensed personal trainer for five years and believes strongly in positive reinforcement. When asked about working with his clients, and inspiring them to reach their goals, Britton said  he tries to be positive and encourage them.

“I’m here to motivate them, but to get the results they want I try to remind them regularly that they have to have their head and their heart in it.”

Aside from gaining some muscles Pierce notes that working out regularly has helped her in many different ways, including improving her balance and increasing her energy level throughout the day,

“Tommy and I primarily assumed that working out would strengthen our core, but I think I swapped some fat cells for muscle cells too,” laughs Pierce.

She also says without going to the gym on a weekly basis she wouldn’t have had the energy to do all that she has had to do since becoming Ms. Senior Alabama. Overall it seems to be a safe assumption that Mrs. Pierce has inspired many with her work ethic and her recent win of such a coveted title, but to say that she has inspired those that know her, including the staff at Therapy Plus, is a fact.

“She is inspiring and it is a huge accomplishment for someone from our hometown to win the title of Ms. Senior Alabama,” Chadwick says. “We are so honored to have her here as a member of our gym.”


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