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Caretaker to Caretaker Healthcare Referral Program

DSA Caretaker to Caretaker Healthcare Referral Program 
made possible through the generosity of 


The DSA Caretaker to Caretaker Healthcare Referral Program is an online searchable directory and printed directory of health professionals personally recommended by a Caretaker of a person with Down syndrome.  This program will be administrated and monitored by DSA’s Health Referral Program (HRP) Coordinator, Dr. Ronnie Fouts

AL Advocacy Groups: Central     Hunstville     Montgomery     Mobile     Dothan 

Healthcare Referral Program Guidelines:
  • Only Favorable Recommendations will be accepted. Recommendations are submitted by Caretakers of a person with Down syndrome with the understanding, purpose and intent of sharing a healthcare professional’s contact information with another Caretaker of someone with Down syndrome.
  • Only Recommendations that have been confirmed and permitted by the Healthcare Professional with the DSA HRP’s Coordinator will be listed.
  • This referral program is strictly devoted to contact information only. There is no ranking or rating system in this directory. Search results will present alphabetically, by specialty or by location.
  • Comments from submissions will be noted in the DSA HRP database but will not be printed in the directory and will not influence the posting in any way.

DISCAIMER: Recommendations presented on DSA’s HRP are solely those of Caretakers who care for a person with Down syndrome.  DSA holds no bias and does not promote or endorse any particular healthcare professional. No funds or services are exchanged for listing in this directory. These recommendations do not represent the opinions of DSA on any particular health care professional, service, specialty or organization.

Recommendations are solely the voluntarily expressed opinion of an independent caretaker of a person with Down syndrome regarding a positive experience they encountered with a particular healthcare professional. Seekers on this site should thoroughly investigate any and all recommendations and are advised to conduct their own independent research into healthcare professionals before making a decision or choice. Users be advised recommendations are in no way an indication, promise or guarantee of experience, service, benefit or outcome.

To make a recommendation:

Caretakers of a person with Down syndrome or dual diagnosis may submit the name and contact information of a healthcare professional they favorably recommend from their personal experience by:

  • Online Submission Form – downsyndromealabama.org - click here to download description
  • Printable Form - click here to download - Mail to the DSA office at 1929 Canyon Rd, Vestavia Hills, AL  35216
  • Survey Submission – from time to time DSA may send out a survey to members to request recommendations.

Health Professional Confirmation: The HRP Coordinator will contact each recommended healthcare professional to gain permission for posting in the directory. Health professionals will be informed that this directory does not have a ranking or rating system and their postings will be searchable alphabetically, by specialty or by location. The coordinator will verify all contact information.

TYPES OF HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS

MEDICAL HEALTH

What does M.D. mean? A doctor of allopathic medicine (M.D.) is a fully licensed medical doctor offering all the techniques and treatments of modern medicine. The method of treating disease is by the use of agents (medicines) that produce effects different from those the disease produced.

Types of Practice

  • Anesthesiologist - administers drugs and monitors patient condition during surgery; also provides pain management for acute and chronic conditions.
  • Cardiologist, Interventional Cardiologist - a cardiologist specializes in diseases of the heart and blood vessels; an interventional cardiologists uses guided imaging to diagnose and treat those diseases; a cardiac
  • Cardiovascular Surgeon, Cardiothoracic Surgeon - a cardiovascular surgeon specializes in the surgical management of blood vessels and heart disorders; a cardiothoracic surgeon specializes in pathological conditions within the chest.
  • Dermotologist - physicians who focus on the diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the skin, hair, and nails.
  • Emergency medicine - physicians who care for patients with acute illnesses or injuries which require immediate medical attention; they diagnose a variety of illnesses and undertake acute interventions to stabilize the patient.
  • Endocrinologist - diagnoses and treats diabetes, hormone imbalances, thyroid disease and other disorders of the endocrine system.
  • ENT - Otolaryngologist - the technical name for an ear, nose and throat physician.
  • Family medicine - provides continuing, comprehensive health care for the individual and family. Encompasses all ages, both sexes, each organ system, and every disease entity; a family physician's care is based on knowledge of the patient in the context of the family and the community, emphasizing disease prevention and health promotion.
  • Gastroenterologist - specializes in diseases of the digestive system.
  • Geriatrician (Geriatric Medicine) - general practice physician who specializes in caring for older adults.
  • Hematologist - a hematologist specializes in diseases of the blood and bone marrow.
  • Hepatologist - specializes in diseases of the liver.
  • Hospitalist - internal medicine physician whose practice is limited to hospital inpatients.
  • Intensivist - hospital-based critical care medicine specialist who treats patients in intensive care settings.
  • Internal medicine - provides diagnosis, management and nonsurgical treatment of unusual or serious diseases.
  • Medical Geneticist - provides testing, counseling and therapy for genetic diseases.
  • Medical Oncologist, Radiation Oncologist - a medical oncologist specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of all types of cancers and tumors; a radiation oncologist specializes in the application of radiation to manage disease.
  • Neonatologist - cares for premature and critically ill newborns.
  • Nephrologist - specializes in diseases of the kidneys.
  • Neurologist, Neurosurgeon - a neurologist specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of all types of disease and functions of the brain, spine, peripheral nerves, muscles and nervous systems; a neurosurgeon provides surgical management of those disorders.
  • Neurophysiologist - a neurologist who diagnoses disorders of the central, peripheral and autonomic nervous systems through clinical evaluations and electrophysiologic testing.
  • Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Urogynecologist - an obstetrician/gynecologist specializes in the medical and surgical care of the female reproductive system and its associated disorders; a urogynecologist specializes in female urological problems.
  • Opthalmologist, Optometrist - an ophthalmologist provides comprehensive eye and vision care, including to medically or surgically treat eye disorders; an optometrist specializes in diagnosing diseases of the eye and correcting vision.
  • Orthopedist - a doctor who specializes in treating individuals who have medical conditions that involve the bones, joints, nerves, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
  • Orthopedic Surgeon - also known as an orthopod, an orthopedist is a surgeon who treats diseases, disorders and injuries of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Pathologist - usually works behind the scenes to diagnose diseases by studying tissues, body fluids and organs.
  • Pediatrician - a child's physician who provides preventive health maintenance for healthy children and medical care for children who are acutely or chronically ill; pediatricians manage the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of their patients, in every stage of development.
  • Perinatologist - specializes in caring for high-risk pregnancies.
  • Physiatrist - specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation.
  • Podiatrist - specialist that treats both medical and surgical deformities of the foot and ankle.
  • Pulmonologist - specializes in lung disease.
  • Radiologist, Interventional Radiologist - radiologists perform and interpret imaging tests; interventional radiologists also perform minimally invasive procedures, such as embolization, thrombolysis and biopsies, using imaging guidance.
  • Rheumatologist - specializes in arthritis and diseases of the joints, as well as autoimmune disorders, such as lupus.
  • Sleep doctors - diagnoses and treats sleep disorders, and also may have expertise in behavioral and cognitive methods to prevent them.

GENETICS

  • MD Medical Geneticist -  is a physician who specializes in the clinical practice of medical genetics
  • PhD Medical Geneticist – is a health care professional who specialize in clinical genetics. While these doctors are not physicians, they are trained in the diagnosis and care of individuals with genetic conditions
  • Genetics Counselor – are Master’s level-trained health care professionals educated in conveying genetic risk and diagnostic information to patients.

MENTAL HEALTH

The following mental health professionals can prescribe medication; however, they may not provide therapy:

  • Psychiatrist – A medical doctor with special training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional illnesses. 
  • Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist – A medical doctor with special training in the diagnosis and treatment of emotional and behavioral problems in children. 
  • Psychiatric or Mental Health Nurse Practitioner – A registered nurse practitioner with a graduate degree and specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional illness. 

The following mental health professionals can provide psychological assessments and therapy; however, cannot generally prescribe medications:

  • Clinical Psychologist – A psychologist with a doctoral degree in psychology from an accredited/designated program in psychology.  Psychologists are trained to make diagnoses and provide individual and group therapy. 
  • School Psychologist – A psychologist with an advanced degree in psychology from an accredited/designated program in School Psychology.  School Psychologists are trained to make diagnoses, provide individual and group therapy, and work with school staff to maximize efficiency in the schools setting.

The following mental health professionals can provide counseling; however, cannot prescribe medication:

  • Clinical Social Worker – A counselor with a master’s degree in social work from an accredited graduate program. Trained to make diagnoses, provide individual and group counseling, and provide case management and advocacy; usually found in the hospital setting.
  • Licensed Professional Counselor – A counselor with a master’s degree in psychology, counseling or a related field. Trained to diagnose and provide individual and group counseling. 
  • Mental Health Counselor – A counselor with a master’s degree and several years of supervised clinical work experience. Trained to diagnose and provide individual and group counseling. 
  • Marital and Family Therapist – counselor with a master’s degree, with special education and training in marital and family therapy. Trained to diagnose and provide individual and group counseling. 

THERAPY

  • Speech and Language Therapist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Nutritional Counselor
  • Vocational training

 

Downloadable Files
dsa healthcare referal program description.pdf
dsa healthcare referal form.pdf