UMC-Northport to open this week, grand opening in AugustBy Patrick Smith | 07/08/2015 7:17pm
The satellite office for the University Medical Center opened in the Fitness One building in Northport on July 1. CW | Layton Dudley
University Medical Center-Northport, located in the Fitness One building on McFarland Boulevard, is a relocation of UMC-Black Warrior Family Medicine. The focus of UMC-Northport will be on providing comprehensive healthcare for its patients, as well as training residents, interns and medical students. The move was done to make more space and be more accessible to citizens on that side of town.
“We’re expanding our services that we were giving on the University campus UMC,” said H. Joseph Fritz, clinic director at UMC-Northport. “We’re now in Northport and training family doctors, also providing primary care to this part of Tuscaloosa.”
Fritz will practice with Ray Brignac, Jennifer Clem, Catherine Skinner and nurse practitioner Lisa Bashier as well as resident physicians.
A grand opening and ribbon-cutting celebration for UMC-Northport will be held in August.
Patients of all ages in the West Alabama community can receive treatment for a whole range of needs, including, but not limited to, chronic and acute illnesses. UMC-Northport will also be able to treat minor emergencies. Scheduled appointments and walk-ins are available.
“The importance of our move was to offer more access to the community and to serve more Northport patients up here,” said Candice Biby, Administrative Director of Clinical Services for UMC-Northport.
UMC-Warrior Family Medicine started in 2014 when Fritz and his practice, Warrior Family Practice, merged with the college. Fritz had practiced privately in Tuscaloosa since 1978.
The College of Community Health Sciences, established by a special act of the Alabama Legislature in 1972, was created with an emphasis on primary care and a family practice residency program, encouraging physicians to practice in under-served, rural areas in Alabama.
“We moved that second location to have more space because our patient population is growing and there’s a greater need for primary care,” said Leslie Zganjar, director of Communications for the College of Community Health Sciences. “There’s always been a need, a significant need for primary care, but with changes at the national level, and a desire to improve the health of the population of Alabama, we have a focus on providing primary care.”