On the Pulse

 As Sense of Normalcy Grows, Healthcare Sector Buzzing With New Faces and Accomplishments


Summer is in full swing and Central Florida’s healthcare providers are happy to see things start to return to normal. While things have slowed down, our area’s doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers have continued their hard work in providing Central Florida with high quality care. See all of the awards, recognitions, openings and other goings-on that have been happening at your local hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices.

Bond Clinic

Bond Clinic welcomed a number of new employees to the team. Barbara Bovey, APRN, joined the Bond Clinic team as a hospitalist, and Liyenni Gonzalez, APRN, will be working alongside Dr. Jose Prieto in his Internal Medicine practice at the Bond Clinic Main Campus. Also, Jared White joined Bond Clinic as the Company’s Assistant Marketing Director. In addition to maintaining Bond Clinic’s multiple marketing platforms, White will also be responsible for enacting new creative initiatives and contributing to community involvement.

In employee recognition news, Bond Clinic named Brittany Hitchcock, an Information Systems Specialist in the I.T. Department, as the April Employee of the Month. Cathy Francis, a Medical Receptionist in Dr. Figueroa’s Office, was named the May Employee of the Month.

In community outreach news, the Bond Clinic team hosted a Memorial Day food drive to support The Mission of Winter Haven, collecting items for The Mission.

In news of new facilities, Bond Clinic opened its new Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Facility at the Lakeland Complex; the facility is being led by Dr. Carrie Goddin, PT, DPT. It’s Bond Clinic’s second physical therapy location, and patients can receive physical therapy, athletic training, sports performance programming, return to sport testing, orthopedics, manual treatment, spine health, post-surgical care, vestibular rehab and LSVT big Parkinson’s training.

Watson Clinic

In new employee news, Watson Clinic welcomed many new employees to the team. Michnitza Brutus, APRN, joined Watson Clinic to work alongside board-certified Pain Management specialist Osman A. Latif, MD, at the Watson Clinic Main Campus. Keeva Cleary, PA, joined Watson Clinic to work with internal medicine specialist Stephen G. Swengros, MD and family medicine physician Brett J. Widick, MD at the Watson Clinic South location. Lauren Patterson, APRN, joined to work alongside board-certified Family Medicine specialist Rony J. Alvarado, MD, at the Watson Clinic Highlands location.

Watson Clinic also welcomed Karen Chabrier, MD, an Urgent Care specialist who provides care from Watson Clinic Urgent Care South. Dominic DiPierro, DPM, FACFAS, a podiatric surgeon board-certified in foot surgery, reconstructive rearfoot, and ankle surgery joined Watson Clinic to treat patients at the Watson Clinic Bartow office. Lastly, Padma Iyer, MD, a board-certified radiologist and breast imaging specialist, joined Watson Clinic Women’s Center in Lakeland.

In news regarding new services, Watson Clinic has added an array of new services to help residents of Central Florida. Watson Clinic’s Nephrology department is now accepting patient appointments from the Watson Clinic Highlands location in south Lakeland. Board-certified Watson Clinic Urology specialists Mark Swierzewski, MD and Stanley Swierzewski, MD are offering a UroLift® System, a treatment that helps treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) symptoms. Also, Watson Clinic’s Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine department is now offering physical therapy to patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Lakeland Regional Health

In new treatment offerings, Lakeland Regional Health now offers Polk County’s only ROSA® Knee Robot, which vastly improves outcomes for patients undergoing total knee replacement surgeries.

In new facility news, Lakeland Regional Health announced in late June that it is planning to expand healthcare services in the northern area of Polk County with the addition of a new ambulatory care site at Kathleen Road and I-4. The targeted opening date is set for 2023.

In industry recognition news, Lakeland Regional Health was reaffirmed by Moody’s Investors Service in mid-June as having an “A2 stable rating” in advance of public bond financing. This designation by Moody’s, according to a press release, “reflects its expectation that Lakeland Regional Health Systems, Inc. will remain the distinct market leader and essential provider in and around Polk County.”

Additionally, Lakeland Regional Health’s April Novotny, RN, MSN, CEN, CENP, Chief Nurse Executive and Vice President of Clinical Services, was recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of this year’s 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives.

In new employee news, Lakeland Regional Health welcomed James C. Brown, MD, MBA, to the Lakeland Regional Health Physician Group as a Pulmonary and Critical Care Physician seeing patients at the Grasslands Campus and Medical Center. Lakeland Regional also welcomed Sonaly Patel, MD, to the Lakeland Regional Health Physician Group as a Gastroenterologist seeing patients at the Pablo Campus and Medical Center. Also joining the Lakeland Regional Health team is Stephanie Jackson, APRN, who joined Lakeland Regional Health Physician Group as a Surgical First Assistant at the Medical Center, and Eileen Rodriguez, APRN, who joined Lakeland Regional Health Physician Group as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse in Endocrinology at the Grasslands Campus.

BayCare: Bartow Regional Medical Center, Winter Haven Hospital, and Winter Haven Women’s Hospital

In new employee news, Bartow Regional Medical Center welcomed nurses Maritza Rivera, Cristy Link, Tiffany Tucker, Rosalian Rosario and Ariana Vazquez-Espada; surgical technician Kelsey Clark, operating room care technician Rachel Collins and patient care technician Georgia Caruthers to the Surgical Services team in order to expand procedures aimed at ear, nose and throat (ENT) cases and other procedures offered exclusively at BRMC.

In employee recognition news, Bartow Regional Medical Center announced the May Team Member of the Month as Sarah Chapman with the Care Coordination team.


In new facility news, AdventHealth announced a partnership with Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, an internationally recognized leader in orthopedic care, that culminated in the opening of its first, state-of-the art office in Central Florida in early July, named Rothman Orthopaedics Florida. Located at 255 N. Lakemont Ave, Suite 207 in Winter Park, Rothman’s team of board-certified, fellowship-trained physicians will treat various routine and complex musculoskeletal issues.

In industry recognition news, AdventHealth announced that AdventHealth for Children was recognized in mid-June by U.S. News & World Report as the Best Children’s Hospital for newborn care in Florida. AdventHealth for Children ranked No. 35 in the nation for neonatology.

Nemours Children’s Health System

Since Orange, Osceola, Volusia, and Brevard Counties are requiring heart screenings (EKGs) for high school student-athletes who plan to play sports in the upcoming athletic year, Nemours Children’s Health System is making the 20-minute exam available for $20 throughout Central Florida.

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