Meet Drs. Gabe & Maggie Belue
Newlyweds begin practice in Scottsboro, look forward to being part of community
SCOTTSBORO - They're new to Jackson County and loving it. Gabe and Maggie Belue are settling in to life in a small town and as family medicine physicians with a practice adjacent to Highlands Medical Center in Scottsboro. The Belues are young, vibrant and anxious to become active members of the community. After all, they chose the area because it felt like the perfect place to be. Their first priority is to get settled in a routine at the office and then at their newly purchased older home in Scottsboro that needs tender loving care inside and out. Even a little yard work is in order for the newlyweds.
Gabe picked Scottsboro first. He had signed to come to work with Highlands Medical Center before he and Maggie got married. He jokes that he just drug her along. "Scottsboro has a special place in my heart," Gabe said. "It was my first introduction into family medicine." Gabe worked with Dr. Mark Cooper while completing a rural family medicine rotation during his residency. "I fell in love with it," Gabe said of the area and family medicine. "I got to see what family medicine is all about. I knew this was the right size hospital and town. Nowhere else could really compare."
The Belue's are celebrating their honeymoon while settling into new surroundings and seeing patients on a daily basis. They've been married less than two weeks and are happy at the prospects of beginning their new life together and working side-by-side to help patients no matter the situation. "We have to make sure that every decision we make in consulting with a patient is built on trust. They have to trust us," Maggie said. "We have to ask, is this the best thing for the patient? It's as simple and as complicated as that." The Belue's agree that it's important for them to remember that every patient they see is someone's loved one, someone's family member. "We want nothing but the best (for the patient and their families)," Gabe said. "We will treat patients with that in mind."
The Belues are well aware that establishing a practice won't be easy. They're willing to work long and hard to achieve their goal of having a patient-centered family practice. They've got a leg up on reaching their mark. The couple is approachable. They are likable, relaxed and their personalities help them to be at ease in meeting new people. It's not hard to see that both have the intangible everyone seems to want in a physician - good bedside manners.
The Belues are thankful for the assistance they are receiving from Highlands Medical Center and the approach the administration is taking in not only improving but expanding healthcare options available in Jackson County. "The administration has been great. They have the right things in mind and are leading the hospital in the right direction," Gabe said. The Belue's have been welcomed with open arms by local physicians, nurses and staff at the medical center. They already feel at home and know that there are many people ready to help them as they learn the ropes. "We're working in close partnership with Highlands. They are helping us with our growing pains and providing guidance," said Gabe. "We can focus on taking care of patients." The Belues like it that way.
Beginning anew is an exciting time. They know that there is plenty of chances to get plugged into the community through civic organizations, churches and other outlets. "We're excited. This is a good opportunity," said Maggie. "We're proud to be a part of it," Gabe said of Highlands commitment to provide more services for patients locally. "We are happy to become part of the framework for growth and that the administration think of us that highly (to include us in their plans)." The Belue's practice is accepting patients that range in age from newborns to the elderly. They will see those who need long-term care in specialized facilities. Maggie will also be highly involved with Highland's Medicine on the Move. She will serve as the service's medical director in taking health care to remote areas of the county.
While taking an elective course as an undergraduate at Virginia Tech, Maggie served with an elderly doctor in his late 70s in a coal mining area in southwest Va. She saw him care for patients from babies to patients in the nursing home and was hooked because of his care, compassion and dedication. "I tried to avoid medicine," she said. "My family includes physicians and healthcare workers and I saw how long and hard they worked. But, I fell in love with it."
Gabe and Maggie met while they were medical students at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. After graduation, they went their separate ways. Gabe served his residency in Huntsville while Maggie was off to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Both served as chief resident in their respective programs. They reconnected after seeing one another at a chief residents' conference. After that, Gabe and Maggie kept in contact and made a long-distance romance work. Gabe, who grew up in Rogersville, and Maggie in Kingsport, Tenn., both love the outdoors. In their spare time the Belues will hike, kayak, fish and play a little tennis together. And, they both love music. Gabe wants Maggie to learn to play golf and to enjoy water sports. But, Maggie already has a leg up on her new husband. She has him involved in dance lessons. "Oh gosh," Gabe says with a grin and a shake of the head. The Belues intend to work hard and, when the time comes, play hard. Being in Jackson County affords the opportunity for both. The Belue's office is located at 507 Harley Street. To schedule an appointment call 256-259-0061.
Ken Bonner: The Daily Sentinel