A recent partnership between Shands at the University of Florida and community pediatricians in the Ocala and Lake City areas will allow specialists from the hospital to provide children care via rotating scheduled visits.
Peveeta Seeraj, a member of the marketing team for the Department of Pediatrics at Shands, said the partnership is beneficial in terms of medical care for the communities doctors will visit.
“Bringing a sub-specialist to local families will really help with convenience instead of families having to travel up to the Gainesville area,” she said. “They’ll now have the opportunity to see or to have sub-specialty care in their backyard, which should be a great benefit and something I know that our divisions are looking forward to providing as well.”
Seeraj said the partnership helps to fulfill the mission of UF pediatrics, which is to provide a patient and family-friendly department.
“Partnership is something that we’re definitely committed to as a department in continuing to deliver the best care possible to the children in all of the extended communities,” she said.
Dr. Janet Silverstein, division chief of pediatric endocrinology at UF, will be one of the traveling pediatric specialists. She said medical care given on these trips will be fairly similar to what happens at Shands in Gainesville.
Silverstein said the hospital intends to bring the equipment it has in Gainesville to the patients in Ocala and Lake City. However, she said, there will be instances where cases are too serious or complex.
“In those cases, we will see the children and do an initial assessment and then, if need be, we will see them back in Gainesville,” she said.
Silverstein said there are many positive benefits to the program including: no gas expenses on the patient’s behalf, children do not have to miss an entire day of school for a doctor’s visit in Gainesville and parents do not have to miss a whole day of work.
Currently, pediatric specialists are scheduled to visit Lake City and Ocala once a month.
Kelsey Meany edited this story online.