Brookwood Medical Center’s Freestanding Emergency Department—what you need to know

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Brookwood Medical Center Freestanding Emergency Department
Dr. Audry Slane + Charge Nurse Kelsey Coleman. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

DYK Brookwood Medical Center has a Freestanding Emergency Department (FED) in Greystone at the intersection of Highway 280 and 119, behind La-Z-Boy and The Fish Market? Not an urgent care center, this is a satellite emergency room that can handle heart attacks, strokes and more. We talked to Dr. Audry Slane and Kelsey Coleman, the Charge Nurse, to learn more about what they treat, why they love their jobs and what has kept them committed through the pandemic.

What is the Freestanding Emergency Department?

Brookwood Baptist Health Freestanding Emergency Department
Brookwood Baptist Health Freestanding Emergency Department. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)
  • What: a 25,000 square-foot facility that provides hospital-level emergency services, including 24/7 care by board-certified emergency medicine physicians, with low wait times
  • Bonus: on-site diagnostic + lab services allow treatment for a number of emergencies
  • Where: 7131 Cahaba Valley Rd, Hoover, AL 35242
  • Note: This is in North Shelby County between DEFY Birmingham + Culver’s—from Highway 119, the sign currently says Diagnostic Center, but they’re working on changing that.
  • Call: 205.725.6800

Meet Dr. Audry Slane + Charge Nurse Kelsey Coleman

Brookwood Freestanding Emergency Department
Dr. Audry Slane + Charge Nurse Kelsey Coleman at the FED. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Audry Slane came to Birmingham for medical school in 2000 and has been working as an ER doc since 2008. For four years now, she’s been with Emergency Physicians Associates, which provides coverage for the ER at the main hospital and the FED.

Her husband, who’s been in ministry for many years, recently started a new adventure as a Hoover City Schools bus driver (hello flexibility and family-friendly hours). Together, they have three children and two dogs, and attend Mountaintop Church.

Kelsey Coleman has been working in healthcare for seven years and at the FED for almost one as the Charge Nurse. Originally from Dothan, she’s a proud pet mama, with five cats and two dogs. She loves outdoor recreational activities like swimming, running, biking and kayaking. Plus, she plays slow pitch softball with the Birmingham Sliders, and often travels to different cities to play in tournaments.

The Freestanding Emergency Department is hiring. Check out their jobs listings today.

Why Dr. Slane + Nurse Coleman love the Freestanding Emergency Department

Brookwood Medical Center FED
The Brookwood Medical Center Freestanding Emergency Department. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Dr. Slane is happy that there’s a freestanding emergency department on 280—everybody knows how bad traffic can get on that highway, and minutes can make a huge difference in the case of some medical situations. In addition, she cited a few other reasons why she likes working there:

“The FED is very modern, with a friendly environment where we can see people quickly. Our patients are genuinely appreciative, friendly and nice which makes for a fun interaction when we’re taking care of them.

Although we’re on an island, we have quick access to get people to hospitals if needed—for example, if someone comes to us with a stroke and we call a ‘code stroke,’ it actually goes off overhead at Brookwood Baptist Medical Center and we can get people right on the road. Same for heart attacks. It’s a very streamlined system.”

Dr. Audry Slane

Coleman loves the efficiency and ease of the FED with the Diagnostic Center next door.

“You can do CTs, X-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs or whatever the doctor orders. Within five minutes of the order, the radiology tech comes over, takes the patient and scans them. The lab there is actually only for ER patients. It’s literally 50 steps from the desk—you drop your labs off and they’re done in 30 minutes. The flow smoother, more efficient and just quicker.”

Kelsey Coleman, Charge Nurse, Freestanding Emergency Department, Greystone

The Greystone Freestanding Emergency Department—what they do + don’t treat

Brookwood Medical Center FED
The Freestanding Emergency Department is not an urgent care. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Some of the typical things Dr. Slane and Nurse Coleman see in a day include:

  • abdominal pain
  • appendicitis
  • broken bones
  • chest pain
  • heart attacks
  • lacerations
  • surgery candidates
  • strokes

“We see everything any ER sees except we’re not attached to a hospital.”

Kelsey Coleman, Charge Nurse, Freestanding Emergency Department, Greystone

If you require hospital admission, they’ll transport you to Brookwood Baptist Medical Center at no charge or another hospital of your choice for a charge. 

There are some things you’re much better off going to an urgent care clinic for, including:

  • cold symptoms
  • mild COVID—if you are having respiratory distress, you should come to the FED
  • flu-like symptoms
  • sore throat

What made them stay committed to healthcare through the pandemic

Dr. Audry Slane
Dr. Audry Slane. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Dr. Slane valued working somewhere where the doors stayed open and where they could provide care during such a challenging time:

“It seemed like the whole world was scared. No one knew who to trust, but one constant was that our doors were always open. While our overall numbers were down, we did see a ton of COVID firsthand. From a career perspective, it was challenging to stay educated on something so new.

Also, during that time, when people couldn’t have a family member at their bedside, we had to be the face of reassurance and hope for them. It was rewarding to take care of people and get them through a tough time like that.”

Dr. Audry Slane

Coleman’s answer was simple—she can’t see herself doing anything else:

“I’ve always seen myself doing healthcare, ever since I watched ER with my parents growing up. Being a nurse in emergency medicine means every day you see something different. Anything can come through the door. The excitement and adrenaline of something new keeps me coming back because I don’t know what to expect.”

Kelsey Coleman, Charge Nurse, Freestanding Emergency Department, Greystone

The Freestanding Emergency Department is hiring. Check out their jobs listings today.

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Sharron Swain
Sharron Swain

Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference

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