What to Expect: Your First Visit

We are glad that you have chosen our office to take care of your family’s needs. Our goal is to provide you with the most convenient office visit that we can. We can only do this with your help.

Please arrive 10 minutes prior to your first visit so that we may validate your insurance and create an electronic chart for you. We utilize electronic medical records which allow you, the patient, and the ability to view and maintain your medical information. Please bring with you:

  • A form of identification
  • Insurance card
  • A comprehensive list of your prescriptions, including the name of each medication, the frequency in which you take it and the prescribed dosage
  • A list of physicians and other medical professionals you have seen within the past 5 years
  • Any medical reports or medical information you think is important to your visit

We want your visit to be comfortable and meaningful. Please let us know if you have any special concerns or issues that you would like us to address. Any and all information that you share with us is confidential, protected by HIPAA, and can only be released with your permission.

Once your information is processed, one of our certified medical assistants will escort you to one of our exam rooms. They will take your vitals, such as your blood pressure, temperature, and weight, and ask you a few basic questions. When our medical assistants complete their work, then you will be ready for your visit with Dr. Russell.

Thomas Family is committed to providing you with the best medical care and support. We encourage you to ask any and all questions of us as well!

Once you have completed your office visit, please make sure to stop by the front desk to check out, if you need to schedule another appointment, or address any additional questions that you may have. You will be supplied with a visit summary and any related patient education. Most prescriptions will be electronically prescribed to your pharmacy when you are checked out of the office. Any fees due (copay, coinsurance, etc.) will be collected at the time of service.

If you have questions before or after your appointment, please feel free to contact us.


Healthy Programs

Sensible Weight

The Sensible Weight program is a combination of several healthy lifestyle choices and natural and medication options for the treatment of obesity. Many of the comorbidities of obesity include diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and renal failure. These are just a few on a long list of illnesses that we possess primarily because of genetic predisposition and choice. We have access to so much in our great country that often we lose sight of what really matters, and that is having a quality of life. We eat to live, not live to eat and unfortunately our choices have crippled the next generation. Where does it stop?

For those of us who want to be accountable, then it must start with us. There are tons of diets available on the market and plenty of supplements. There are also surgical weight loss options too. Sensible Weight allows you the freedom to choose what works for you in your own time frame. This is a marathon, not a sprint. To begin, there will be a prescreening questionnaire to see if Sensible Weight is right for you. Based on your scores, you will begin the journey to your goal that will reshape your mind’s way of thinking about food choices and reset your inner thermostat to lose weight. However it only works if you are willing to work! See what Sensible Weight can do for you!

Suboxone Treatment

Dr. Vanessa Russell is certified in outpatient treatment of opioid dependence. As a primary care physician, she has experience in addiction medicine. However, Dr. Russell is not a psychiatrist, and some patients may require referral for further evaluation and treatment by a specialist in that field.

For patients requiring treatment for opioid dependence (i.e. Lortab, Percocet, OxyContin, Methadone, tramadol, etc.), Dr. Russell will help guide the process of transition to other medications such as buprenorphine or Suboxone. An initial visit averages 30 to 60 minutes and patients will be asked to complete a general health questionnaire. Your confidentiality is our priority. Patients may be asked to obtain lab work or EKGs prior to or during treatment in order to monitor safety of medications prescribed. Each treatment plan is individually tailored to meet your needs. As a general rule, most patients are seen weekly after starting on Suboxone for the first 4 weeks. This frequency is usually reduced as patients began to stabilize on their medications.

Treatment will be continued as needed. It is our policy to require individual counseling to be successful with your goals. This can be obtained through a variety of trained and skilled professionals in Baldwin County. It is also strongly recommended to attend group meetings, such as AA, NA or other local support groups.

Do you want to be free from the bondage of opioid dependency? Let us help you.


Patient Forms