Category: News

Memorial Day Hours

Soldiers Raising the American FlagIn observance of the Memorial Day holiday, all TOC locations will be CLOSED on Monday, May 30.  The Walk-In Clinic and the Pediatric Injury Clinic will also be closed.  We wish you a safe and peaceful holiday!

Employee Appreciation Day 2022

To ALL of our exceptional employees,

Thank you for your warmth, compassion, and commitment to taking care of our patients! We are so grateful for your dedication to your work and your involvement in Team TOC. We wanted to highlight some employees from all corners of TOC who exemplify the core values of our company: compassion, integrity, purpose, servanthood, stewardship, and teamwork.


Kelley Chance
MA, Rad Tech for
Dr. Patrick Boyett


Kelley has been with TOC for 10 years. She is committed to her team and is a problem solver. She is confident, hardworking, and reliable. “Kelley is an asset to TOC. She is trustworthy and always finishes the job.”
-Shea Whitt

Joan Clark
Medical Records


Joan has been with TOC for 19 ½ years! She has a great personality, good work ethic, and is reliable. She is fun to work with, knowledgeable, and caring. “Joan is a dedicated and loyal employee who likes her job. She has been a good employee for TOC, and she deserves recognition.”
-Karen Whiteley

Shiela Coleman
4th Floor Registration


Shiela has been with TOC for just under 6 months and has already made a huge impact on her team! She never fails to do everything to help any situation, and other employees can vouch that she can always be relied on. “Shiela is a strong addition to our team and a huge benefit to TOC.”
-Bailey Mitchell

Kristi Conner
R/OT MA for Dr. Smith


Kristi has been with TOC for 15 years. You can always depend on her to get the job done. She stands out in her leadership, teamwork, dependability, and enthusiasm for her job. “Kristi is such an asset to our team. She is a great leader that always goes above and beyond. We are not only a team, we are a family.”
-Jeremy Gaertner

Amy Fowler
Call Center Specialist


Amy has been with TOC for 4 years. Her personality and commitment to her job make her a valuable team member. She is always very helpful, a great employee, and is a joy to be around. “She means a lot to all of us in the department. She is very helpful, always willing to help when anything is needed to be done. She is a delight to work with, and very hardworking.”
-Robin Duey

Brian Kimbugwe
DME Lead Fitter


Brian has been with TOC for over 6 years. He goes above and beyond for his patients and the TOC staff. He is very knowledgeable and patient. Everyone says, “I love Brian!” His smile and positive attitude are infectious. “Brian is an integral part of our team. Not only is he very knowledgeable, but he is such a caring, kind, positive person.”
-Brandon Strode

Renee Mann
Physical Therapist Assistant


Renee has been with TOC for 17 ½ years. She is a constant team player and is always willing to do whatever is needed to take care of our patients. She often stays late or works through lunch to get patients in. Renee has an incredible demeanor and attitude and is very professional. “Renee is a leader in the clinic in both professionalism and teamwork. I am thankful for the way that she makes the Huntsville clinic a better place to work by improving the culture.”
-Jeff Keith

Lisa Mitchell
Call Center Specialist


Lisa has been with TOC for 4 years. Her personality and perseverance make her stand out. She is very helpful and always available and willing to listen when needed. She is a team player. “Lisa means a lot to all of us. She is always available, dependable, helpful, dedicated, and willing to do the job that is needed to be done.”
-Robin Duey

Susan Patterson


Susan has been with TOC for 4 years. She is always willing to step up to anything new that’s thrown at her and never without a loss in productivity. She is a wonderful asset to the coding team professionally and personally. “Susan is one of our seasoned clinic coders, and her work is always very dependable. She has a very strong work ethic and is a wonderful asset to TOC.”
-Julie Zuidema

Sharon Sentell
AR Appeals


Sharon has been with TOC for 24 years. She is ALWAYS willing to go the extra mile to go to bat for our providers and make sure claims are processed properly and fairly. She is an excellent teammate and a genuine friend who strives for us all to be successful. She is great at answering questions and is a wonderful mentor. “Sharon is a superstar when it comes to her expertise with the claims appeal process.”
-Julie Zuidema

Tracey Syler
LPN/Team Lead for Dr. Parks


Tracey has been with TOC for 10 years. Tracey will help anyone that asks. She is kind to patients, very dependable, and provides medical assistance for emergencies almost always. She is also generous and a great cook! “Tracey is a leader to not only her team, but for many others at TOC. And she puts up with Dr. Parks and Tom!”
-Kathleen Miller

Jennifer Tompkins
X-Ray Tech


Jennifer has been with TOC for almost 6 years. She is a problem solver and is willing to learn new skills for the benefit of her team. Jennifer is not only awesome to work with, but you can always count on her for a nonjudgmental ear and helpful words. “Jennifer is always willing to help out others, and not just in the radiology department. She is very resourceful and looks at the big picture when solving problems.”
-Marti Roland

Derrick Townsend
MA – Floater


Derrick has been with TOC for 9 months. Everyone loves Derrick! He is kind, hardworking, and always helpful. Teams ask for Derrick regularly and always sing his praises. Many teams have tried to steal Derrick, but he remains a free spirit! “Derrick is dedicated, dependable, very flexible, kind, funny, and an asset to TOC!”
-Kathleen Miller

Desiree Wallace
Athens Registration

Desiree has been with TOC for 6 months. She is a hard worker, and her positive attitude helps her stand out. She is dependable and always willing to help others. “Desiree is an asset to her team. She is a dedicated employee.”
-Shea Whitt

What to Expect in Your First Physical Therapy Appointment

by Scott Stein

“Physical terrorist!”

I’ve heard it so many times. Most new patients are uncomfortable with the idea of physical therapy because they are afraid or unsure of what to expect regarding how much pain they will experience during their first physical therapy session.

However, during your first visit, your therapist will discuss your injury or surgery, your medical history, and your current pain level. At this point in the process, we really just want to get to know you.

Following your initial consultation, your therapist will collect some baseline data concerning your condition. They’ll measure your range of motion, strength, and other important points. Your therapist will then discuss their findings with you and develop a treatment plan.

As part of your treatment plan, your therapist will help you restore your range of motion and strength, as well as provide you exercises to do at home.

Our goal as physical therapists is to give you a treatment plan that helps reduce your pain, rather than prolong it.

Scott Stein has been a licensed physical therapist for over 30 years. Scott recognizes that many types of treatments are necessary for optimal healing. Scott continues to practice this philosophy utilizing both traditional and non-traditional treatment approaches as he develops programs and assists his patients. Working with many types of athletes, Scott is also a certified Retül Bicycle Fitter and Cycling Coach.  He is married and the father of two children. He loves to bicycle, exercise, and cook healthy meals.

Request an appointment today!

Michael McFarland – Patient Story

In April of 2012, Michael McFarland was involved in a horrific car accident. His car was caught in the guardrail, and the guardrail slid through the floorboard of his car, pinning Michael into his vehicle. Michael was a young professional, newly out of the Marine Corps, now in a horrible state.

Michael was rushed to Huntsville Hospital where Dr. Leberte met him in the ER, ready to take on Michael’s injuries as an orthopaedic trauma surgeon. Michael knew the state of his leg was terrible, but really didn’t understand how grim until sometime later. Dr. Leberte operated on Michael a few short hours later, and his operations continued every other day for some time. He performed a total of 8 operations to save Michael’s leg. Michael says that, from the beginning, “Dr. Leberte had excellent bedside manner and was very positive.” Over the course of treatment and recovery, Dr. Leberte told Michael that the situation was grim. Not only was his leg in complete jeopardy of being saved, but once he was on the mend, he would have to learn to walk again.

“He didn’t let me get defeated – he helped me climb my way back up.”

As you can imagine, the long recovery was both physically and emotionally taxing. “God, my grit, determination, faith, Dr. Leberte, and my family, friends, and support system pushing me to move forward truly saved my leg. From that day until today, Dr. Leberte and I are connected on a personal level.” Michael went on to say he had many setbacks, physically and emotionally, but Dr. Leberte was with him every step of the way.

“I can walk now. I look at him, and along this path, I have acquired a friend. I feel like we have been through this together and feel a strong connection with him. He is real with me. He is honest with me. He has my back, and I have his back. I know as long as I need him, he will be with me every step of the way.”

Michael is now married with 2 kids and sees the world in a whole new light. To be honest, visiting with him was refreshing. I found someone who appreciates God winks and finds purpose in hard knocks as much as I do. The 45-minute to hour-long phone call brightened my day and gave me an even greater appreciation of the role our providers play – they have the ability to truly change someone’s life, and we have an entire network of folks who are truly grateful for what they are doing.

by Leah Beth McNutt

Dr. Leberte is a member of The Orthopaedic Center Trauma Team. He is board-certified in orthopaedic surgery. He provides expert care for patients with simple to severe musculoskeletal injuries and related complications such as hip and knee problems. Dr. Leberte offers advanced surgical procedures to preserve function and relieve pain in young and elderly patients. In addition to fracture care, Dr. Leberte provides general orthopaedic surgical care including joint replacement surgery.

Request an appointment today!

TOC Now Offers Pricing Transparency

Patients can now shop for healthcare the same way they shop for everything else – with price, quality, and convenience. At TOC, we believe in providing self-pay patients with pricing transparency, so you know the cost of your services upfront.

What is pricing transparency?

Pricing transparency is a tool for self-pay patients to use when they want to know the costs of the services we provide. We offer bundled payment options through HealthMe for those seeking to pay directly for care apart from an in-network insurance plan. This way, self-pay patients know exactly what they’re paying for ahead of time, including exams and treatment plans.

Which orthopedic practices offer pricing transparency?

TOC is the first and only orthopedic practice in Alabama to offer pricing transparency.

Why is TOC providing pricing transparency?

Our goal is to make treatment a convenient “one-stop shop” for our patients. Most of our services can be done on-site, including exams, x-rays, and even physical therapy. Pricing transparency is part of our goal. When you are able to avoid surprise bills, you can focus your energy on getting back to pain-free living.

Which TOC services have pricing transparency?

You can find payment bundles in the following specialties:

Pricing transparency benefits self-pay patients, self-insured employers, patients with out-of-network insurance coverage, health sharing ministries, and anyone who bears the out-of-pocket expense for our services. If you’d like to see our payment bundles or schedule an appointment, you can click below.

Your Self-Pay Marketplace              Book Your Care

Facts About Outpatient Joint Replacement Surgery

by Dr. Patrick Boyett, Joint Replacement Surgeon with TOC – The Orthopaedic Center Athens

Outpatient total joint replacement surgery is a regular joint replacement surgery that happens in a surgery center instead of a hospital, and the patient goes home the same day.

What are the benefits of outpatient joint replacement surgery?

Studies are suggesting that outpatient knee and hip surgery result in less risk of blood clots and infections compared to patients who have their surgery in a traditional hospital visit. Hospital stays have become shorter and shorter because of better pain control adjuncts, improved surgical approaches, and improved procedures to assist recovery. Less invasive surgical approaches, improved instruments, and more surgical techniques have impacted the ability to safely perform outpatient joint replacements. Improved techniques such as Direct Anterior hip replacement, minimally invasive instruments for knee replacement and partial knee replacement, and short stem shoulder implants have revolutionized incision size, muscle damage during surgery, and recovery in a positive fashion. Even the operating room bed that we use now to perform hip replacement surgery is made of carbon fiber and allows x-rays to be used during surgery to enhance the accuracy of implant size, position, and leg length. New surgery tools that we utilize result in less pain and less bruising at the end of surgery. Anesthesia options with cleaner medications and shorter duration of actions allow patients to wake up clearer and with fewer side effects. It has been clear for quite some time that early motion and activity with less exposure to other sick patients results in a smoother recovery. Our patients now walk within 2 hours of surgery.

How has joint replacement surgery evolved?

Outpatient joint replacement surgery has evolved over the past five years from being an extensive hospital stay to same-day discharge that can be accomplished in our Surgery Center safely and efficiently. In the old days, orthopedics used PCA pumps, which were administered pain pumps that used heavy narcotic pain medications such as morphine. Although these medications assisted with pain control, they had problematic side effects, such as constipation, drowsiness, weakened respiratory drive, lethargy, confusion, and ultimately increased complications and negatively impacted recovery.

Who is the ideal candidate for outpatient joint replacement surgery?

The typical outpatient joint replacement candidate is a healthy, active patient who has a good family or friend support system.

Where do outpatient joint replacement surgeons perform their surgeries?

From the concept to development to building of the Athens/TOC Surgery Tower, the idea of having a 28,000-square-foot clinic and physical therapy space in the same building as the Surgery Center was always anchored by the idea of having outpatient joint replacement. The facility was built with this concept in mind and is uniquely positioned to be the best outpatient joint facility in North Alabama.

What can a patient expect when they schedule outpatient joint replacement surgery?

A coordinated system. Outpatient joint replacement surgery of the knee, hip, and shoulder requires a coordinated team to afford a more informed patient and family of expectations while providing comfort and knowledge in the recovery. At TOC Athens, we use a Joint Camp education approach, where patients meet our Orthopedic Navigator, Director of Physical Therapy, specialized orthopedic nurses, and discharge planners before their surgery, which makes the patient part of the team early in the process. This has proven to streamline the recovery process and allows us to answer questions before they become concerns.

Effective pain management. Currently at TOC Athens, we perform an intra-operative block in the joint that uses liposome technology. This means that local pain medication like you might receive at the dentist is encapsulated in a fat bubble and released slowly into the tissues surrounding the joint. This provides excellent pain control for approximately 48 to 72 hours without the side effects you might expect from narcotics. Over 90% of our patients now use only oral pain medications and no longer deal with the side effects of IV pain meds.

In summary, outpatient joint replacement is now a reality and has become a routine, yet exciting part of our practice. To discover if you are a candidate for this innovative approach to joint replacement as an outpatient, schedule an appointment and discuss this with your TOC Athens surgeon, Dr. Patrick Boyett, Dr. Bill Lawrence, or Dr. Eric Stanford.

About Dr. Boyett

Dr. Patrick Boyett is a board certified orthopedic surgeon with a focus on minimally invasive joint replacement and arthroscopic sports medicine procedures. Dr. Boyett performs most of his surgeries at the Surgery Tower located in the Athens TOC tower, which is poised to be a premier facility for outpatient joint replacement. He works with an operating team that collaborates to improve outcomes and recovery. Dr. Boyett performs outpatient Joint Replacement surgery for patients who meet the criteria for outpatient joint replacement. The highest priority when preparing for surgery is to minimize infection risk. This is achieved through preoperative screenings, preoperative patient scrubs, and antibiotics before and after joint replacement surgery. His team then coordinates recovery with Physical Therapy, which gives his patients a more comprehensive recovery.

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TOC Athens Now Offers Outpatient Joint Replacement

With the introduction of TOC Athens Outpatient Joint Replacement services, Athens patients no longer need to travel to improve their joint health. TOC’s joint replacement specialists – Dr. Patrick Boyett, Dr. William Lawrence, and Dr. Eric Stanford – can now give patients the exceptional outcomes they expect right here in Athens, with no hospital stay. Outpatient joint replacement is much more beneficial for patients, as there are fewer complications, improved outcomes, and increased patient comfort.

About the Physicians

Performing over 250 joint replacements each year, Dr. Boyett focuses on minimally invasive joint reconstruction, giving his patients a quicker recovery with less pain. Most of his patients have the ability to walk without assistance on the same day as their surgery.

Dr. William “Bill” Lawrence enjoys spending time with each patient and helping them improve their mobility and function. Dr. Lawrence focuses his practice on total joint replacement, sports medicine, and hand procedures.

Dr. Eric Stanford’s primary focus is to improve each patient’s quality of life. Minimally invasive procedures such as outpatient total joints provide him additional opportunities to do just that.


“When we do outpatient joint replacement, we are able to make minimally invasive incisions, give patients multimodal pain management, and provide accelerated rehabilitation. All of these together allow for faster recovery.” -Dr. Eric Stanford


The highest priority of TOC’s joint replacement specialists in Athens is to minimize infection risk. This is achieved through preoperative screenings, preoperative patient scrubs, and antibiotics before and after joint replacement surgery. The physicians then coordinate with TOC Athens Physical Therapy to give patients a more comprehensive recovery. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, you can do so by calling (256) 233-2332 or clicking below.

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