FLORENCE, Ala. — A Florence woman said she went to Express Med Urgent Care Center for back pain but left with emotional pain after she said the nursing staff openly disrespected her during a visit on July 1.
“I typically go to Express Med; I’ve never had an issue there until, of course, this incident,” MaCara Woods said. “I went in there and the staff was very rude, to begin with.”
Once inside an exam room, Woods said a nurse stepped out momentarily, leaving the door open. Woods added she and her mother, who was with her for the visit, began to overhear the staff trying to pronounce her name—but in a joking manner.
“We just heard laughter,” Woods said. “They were going over my paperwork and I heard, ‘Oh, what’s her name? Is it mocka-rock? Is it Macarena?’ And then they started singing the Macarena song.”
Outraged over the experience, Woods called the clinic later that day to speak to a supervisor. She said she told the supervisor that because the nurses were white, she felt that their actions were borderline racist.
During the phone call, Woods said, “I just really want you to make them aware of that. The way it came off was racist.”
The supervisor replied, “I’m sure they didn’t mean it that way but I will make sure that they are aware of feelings and stuff like that.”
Woods said she wants to know that the clinic staff is being held accountable for the incident but she said she hasn’t heard back.
Racial justice organization Project Say Something has also weighed in, writing the clinic an open letter stating that the staff was unprofessional and problematic given the history of racism in healthcare settings.
They are demanding accountability and transparency from the Express Med leadership.
News 19 reached out to Express Med but a supervisor declined to comment.