USA Health University Hospital is expanding its care team with the addition of Dr. Christine Fouty, a board-certified internal medicine physician who will see patients in the region’s only academic healthcare setting.

Published Jun 4th, 2019

USA Health University Hospital is expanding its care team with the addition of Dr. Christine Fouty, a board-certified internal medicine physician who will see patients in the region’s only academic healthcare setting.

To enhance patient-centered care, University Hospital has hired several physicians to serve as hospitalists on the staff of more than 1,900-employees. A hospitalist is a physician who typically is not in private practice and instead focuses his or her attention on caring for patients within a hospital.

"As a hospitalist, “ Fouty said, “you can spend as much time as you need to with patients and their families and it gives you the opportunity to determine the challenges the patients are facing in the hospital and at home." 

The extra time can be vital, she said, when trying to determine how someone came to need acute care. “I try to find out what causes people to get into a healthcare crisis,” Fouty said. “Are they taking their medication? Can they afford their medication? Do they have a primary care provider?”

The role of a hospitalist was officially defined in 1996, when the term was coined in a New England Journal of Medicine article. It was becoming increasingly more difficult for internists in private practice to see patients in their offices and then travel to hospitals to round on more patients in the evenings or early mornings. 

Having someone within a hospital dedicated to navigating a very sick patient through multiple procedures and tests has become invaluable.

Fouty, who has practiced medicine for more than 22 years, said she enjoys being part of a larger care team: “I learn something every day. I love the nurses, the case managers, and the multidisciplinary approach we take in the hospital.”

Christine Fouty is a member of the Salvation Army's Family Haven and the Homeless Coalition of the Alabama Gulf Coast, where she serves as the chairman of the Discharge Planning Committee. The committee's task is to prevent discharge to homelessness from hospitals, jails and foster care. The group is working on a medical respite care project to provide care for homeless individuals who are too ill to recover from an injury or illness on the street, but are not sick enough to stay in a hospital. 

She earned a medical degree from the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine. Her husband, Brian W. Fouty M.D., is a pulmonologist and Professor of Internal Medicine at the USA Health College of Medicine. They have three children.

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