Medical consolidations on the horizon and other community news


Clark & Daughtrey Medical Group will be part of Lakeland Regional Medical Systems as of July 1. The two are merging in their effort to provide the best healthcare to patients and families at lower prices. The two organizations will be working on several key initiatives, among them increasing access to primary care and helping to develop graduate medical education programs.

Clark & Daughtrey will be relocating and expanding its North Office in mid-October, when it will occupy a 9,000-square-foot facility at Gateway Center, 2815 Lakeland Hills Blvd., 1st Floor in Lakeland. The facility will accommodate five doctors and three advanced registered nurse practitioners.

Clark & Daughtrey has been serving the community since 1949. It has more than 60 providers and some 275 employees in seven locations. Lakeland Regional Medical Center, the fifth largest hospital in Florida, is an 851-bed hospital employing more than 4,500 employees. Its active medical staff includes 484 physicians.

Meanwhile, Winter Haven Hospital has been working towards a partnership with the BayCare Health System, a leading health provider in the Tampa Bay area. Its family of hospitals includes St. Joseph’s, St. Joseph’s Children’s, St. Joseph’s North, and St. Joseph’s Women’s hospitals in Tampa.

The 527-bed, locally owned and operated Winter Haven Hospital was founded in 1926. With more than 300 board-certified physicians on staff, it serves as the major medical center for east Polk and Highlands counties and the U.S. Highway 27/Ridge Corridor.

In other medical community news:

* Bartow Regional Medical Center

Bartow Regional Medical Center announced the addition of Dr. Roxann C. Cook to the Southpoint Medical Group. She is on the medical staff at BRMC. A board-certified family practice physician, Dr. Cook graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. She did her residency at Memorial Hospital Peninsula at Ormand Beach.

Dr. Cook, who offers preventative and comprehensive patient care, offers physicals for children ages five and up, well-woman exams, and osteopathic manipulative treatment, plus diabetes and high blood pressure treatment. Her office is at Mainsail at Southpoint Medical Group in Lakeland.


* Bond Clinic

Dr. Jesse Romeu-Velez, a specialist in Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine at the Winter-Haven-based Bond Clinic, is now offering a specialized procedure called Bronchial Thermoplasty to assist asthmatics.  He is the only pulmonologist to offer the minimally invasive procedure in Winter Haven. The new procedure is suitable for treating adults whose asthma is not well controlled with inhaled corticosteroids. The procedure is performed in three outpatient visits.

Dr. Joseph Tan has joined Bond Clinic’s team of hospitalists to serve patients at Winter Haven Hospital. He received his Doctor of Medicine from University of South Florida’s (USF) College of Medicine. Courtney Jones, a pediatric nurse practitioner, also has joined the clinic staff and is assisting Dr. Kenny Nguyen in the Pediatric Department. She holds a Master of Science in Nursing from USF in Tampa.


* Gessler Clinic

Gessler Clinic, which went live with its Electronic Health Record system last fall, hasadded an advanced registered nurse practitioner, J. Melissa Steven. She is working at Gessler Clinic Annex at 601 First Street North, Winter Haven, assisting with patients of Dr. Brian Lake, an endocrinologist. She holds a master’s of science in nursing and a bachelor’s of science in nursing, both from the USF in Tampa.

Other recent additions to the staff include Dr. Garrison F. Christian, a family practitioner; Dr. Roya Ghorsriz, a dermatologist; and Dr. Zaira Moreno, an obstetrician/gynecologist.


* Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center

Two new obstetrician/gynecology physicians have joined the staff at Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center in Davenport. They are Dr. EricEdwards, with Celebration Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Dr. Daniela Pachova, also of Celebration Obstetrics and Gynecology. The firm now has an office in Davenport.

Also new at Heart of Florida Regional are Dr. Ambica Soni, of Soni Family Practice in Davenport; and pathologists Dr. Fernando Lomba, who earned his medical degree at SUNY Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY.; and Dr. Arcadio Oliva, who received his medical degree from Universidad CETEC, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.


* Lakeland Regional Medical Center

Dr. Jose Torres Gluck, a neurosurgeon, has joined the team of specialists at Lakeland Regional. Certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery, Dr. Gluck’s area of special interest and training is helping patients with spinal diagnoses. He does trans-sphenoidal pituitary and disc replacement surgery, both cervical and lumbar. He earned his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, NY.


* Lake Wales Medical Center

Lake Wales Medical Center has opened an Outpatient Nutrition Counseling Center to provide comprehensive nutrition therapy based on an individual patient’s needs. Patients receive individual training at the center after being referred by their physician. It also has begun a daily “quiet time” on its patient care units in an effort to help the patients heal better through a quiet and soothing environment. From 3 to 4 p.m., lights are dimmed and voices are kept to a whisper at nursing stations. There are no tests and no talking in patient rooms and hallways; cell phones are silenced.

The center also has been accredited in ultrasound for a three-year term by the American College of Radiology (ACR) after an extensive review. ACR accreditation is a gold seal of approval indicative of the highest level of image quality and patient safety.


* Watson Clinic

Watson Clinic’s Center for Cancer Care and Research (CCCR) has been reaccredited for three years by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (ACSCOC). It is the only freestanding cancer center in Florida to have the accreditation, which followed a rigorous review of CCCR’s operations.

Lakeland-based Watson Clinic has more than 200 board-certified physicians. The clinic also announced the Watson Clinic Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, has received a grant from the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation for its research study “Survival Impact of Breast Cancer in Elderly Polk County Florida Women.” It addresses screening protocols for women more than 75 years old.


* Winter Haven Hospital

Winter Haven Hospital recently recognized its volunteers at its annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, where new officers were installed. They areAnna Kauffman, president; Charlotte Stangry, first vice president; Sheila Hartt, second vice president; Shelly DiNunzio, recording secretary; Janice Bullock, corresponding secretary; Marion Green, treasurer; John Gibson, historian; and Joan Johnston, parliamentarian. The Auxiliary also presented a check for $150,000 to Lance Anastasio, Winter Haven Hospital president and chief executive officer, and Joel Thomas, vice president of development, marketing and public relations. The contribution represented the sixth installment on the auxiliary’s current project pledge of $1 million dollars for the Volunteer Auxiliary Grande Lobby Construction/Renovation.






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