Building Healthy Communities in Your Backyard
UF Health primary care locations have nearly doubled since 2011 to better serve you.
The number of UF Health family medicine practices in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia will have grown from 18 offices in 2011 to more than 30 by the end of 2018. The rapid increase is the result of building expansions, new construction and acquiring existing spaces in strategic locations.
Nipa Shah, MD, a professor and chair of community health and family medicine at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville, led the department through the aggressive development plan and helped create two associate chair positions to strengthen collaboration and share best practices among the offices.
“There are many moving parts involved as we continue to expand,” Shah said. “The associate chairs will not only assist in ensuring things go as planned, but they will also keep our patients in the forefront during this process.”
Christopher Scuderi, DO, medical director of UF Health Family Medicine and Pediatrics – New Berlin, and Charles Haddad, MD, medical director of UF Health Family Medicine – Dunn Avenue, were appointed to the new associate chair roles, in which each will oversee a group of practices. In addition, each physician will assist with the opening of a new practice in 2018: UF Health Family Medicine – North and UF Health Family Medicine and Pediatrics – Nocatee.
“With the increased number of practices comes the opportunity to expand services,” Haddad said. “Many offices offer chronic care management, women’s reproductive health, dermatologic procedures including minor surgeries, and cryotherapy. Others provide services by licensed mental health counselors and pharmacists.”
Services have also expanded to provide added convenience for patients and to support the department’s whole-person approach to health care. Some locations offer extended hours to include early morning, evening and Saturday appointments. In addition, telemedicine through UF Health Virtual Visit is now an option with many providers.
Nurse care coordinators in a centralized location reach out to patients who have experienced a recent hospital stay to check on their condition and arrange any necessary follow-up visits. Preventive medicine measures include reminding patients when it’s time for regular screenings, such as mammograms and colonoscopies.
“The most important services continue to be our preventive health services and public health initiatives,” Haddad said. “These services help to keep patients from becoming ill or help to manage large groups of patients with similar health conditions, such as diabetes.”
With the added associate chair positions, practices receive more concentrated operational support to improve quality for patients.
“This is a best practices goal,” Scuderi said. “We are learning from each other and building a stronger infrastructure for family medicine.”