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Nephrology of North Alabama PC won the annual Decatur Beautification Award for the first time.
Daily photo by Emily Saunders
Nephrology of North Alabama PC won the annual Decatur Beautification Award for the first time.

Landscaping soothes kidney patients

By Paul Huggins · 340-2395

No beautification award can surpass Lorene Swann’s smile every time she arrives for a blood transfusion at Nephrology of North Alabama.

Her daughter, Patricia Borden, drives her from Lacon to the kidney specialist on Somerville Road Southeast every two weeks, and though the treatments improve her mother’s health, Borden said her mother dreads getting jabbed with a needle.

“When I bring her and we turn into the entrance, she’s like ‘Oh, look at the flowers. Aren’t they beautiful?’ ” Borden said. “If it makes my mother happy for just a little bit, then I’m tickled.”

Nephrology of North Alabama was one of 63 Decatur properties recognized with an annual Decatur Beautification Award on Tuesday.

Properties are judged on design, maintenance, construction, plantings and litter control. Winners must receive a grade of 95 or better (out of 100). Fourteen judges from out of town grade the properties nominated by the community. Six honorable mention recipients graded at least 90.

Nephrology of North Alabama doesn’t perform dialysis at the clinic. The three doctors, Daniel Gifford, Reginald Gladish and Duncan Scott, try to keep their patients off dialysis or train them to self-administer dialysis at home. They’re the only kidney specialists in town, so the doctors know they don’t have to beautify their clinic to attract customers.

“It’s bad enough to come to a doctor’s office anyway, but our patients tend to have a lot of chronic illness and we wanted to make it a place that’s pleasant to come to,” Dr. Gifford said. “If it becomes a pleasant site, then it becomes an easier place to come.”

Gifford moved into the building last fall and asked Leigh Ann Hill of the landscape service Horti-Tech to enhance it with new flowerbeds and flowers. The summer lineup includes salvia, dusty millers and petunias.

“We’ve seen a lot of positive response to the landscaping,” Gifford said. “It’s peaceful and colorful and we get comments almost every day.”

Beautification awards

Other properties to win awards this year include:

  • Churches: Central United Methodist, Decatur Baptist, First Baptist, First Bible, Parkview Baptist and Somerville Road Church of Christ; honorable mentions: First United Methodist and Southside Baptist.

  • Commercial — more than 2 acres: Bradford Square, Colonial Mall, Daikin, Decatur General Hospital, Deerfoote Estates, Longview Plaza, Meow Mix, Parkside Plaza and Parkway Medical Center.

  • Commercial — less than 2 acres: Burchfield Place; Cook’s Pest Control; Cricket by the Creek; The Decatur Daily; Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau; Deloain New York Salon de Beaute; Lentz, Whitmire, House and Propst LLP; Hospice of the Valley; Raymond James Financial Services; McWhorter Communications; the dentist office of Steve Murphree; Nephrology of North Alabama; River Oaks Family Medicine; Talley, Mauldin and Peete PC; Stovall-Marks Insurance; Surgery Center of Decatur; and Temple Electric. Honorable mentions: Aaron’s Sales and Leasing and the optometrist office of Chris Teichmiller

  • Financial: Bank Independent (Beltline Road Southwest) Family Security Credit Union (Somerville Road Southeast and Carridale Street Southwest), People’s Bank (both Sixth Avenue Southeast locations), Redstone Federal Credit Union (Beltline Road Southwest and Sixth Avenue Southeast), Renasant Bank (Lee Street Northeast).

  • Government: Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce, Fort Decatur Recreational Center, Morgan County Courthouse, Old State Bank and the rose garden at Delano Park. Honorable mention: Decatur City Hall.

  • Hotels, apartments and condominiums: Granada Apartments, Doc Jordan Apartments/Decatur Housing Authority, Home-Towne Suites and Microtel Inn and Suites.

  • Restaurants, clubs and lounges — Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill, Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Q (Danville Road Southwest), Burger King (Sixth Avenue Southeast and Beltline Road Southwest), Checkers Drive-In, Chick-Fil-A, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Decatur Country Club, Hardee’s (Sixth Avenue Southeast), McDonald’s (Danville Road Southwest and Sixth Avenue Southeast), O’Charley’s, Red Lobster, Sonic Drive-In (Danville Road Southwest) and Wendy’s (Beltline Road Southwest).

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