Saturday, February 24, 2018
Business

Renovations for Florida Medical Clinic to begin soon at old Borders in Carrollwood

CARROLLWOOD — The transformation of the old Borders bookstore on N Dale Mabry into Florida Medical Clinic will soon begin.

The clinic, based in Land O'Lakes, has more than 20 locations in Hillsborough and Pasco counties that range from large multispecialty offices to smaller physician offices.

The former bookstore has been gutted, and renovations are expected to start in earnest in September. The Florida Medical facility is expected to be completed early in 2013.

Florida Medical purchased the 25,000-square-foot building at 12500 N Dale Mabry Highway this year for $3.85 million. Approximately 15 physicians will work out of the facility, including primary care; cardiology; ear, nose and throat; orthopedic; gastroenterology; and pulmonology. Diagnostic services will include X-rays, CT and bone density scans, and ultrasound.

"We've been working toward this for some time," said Joe Delatorre, the company's chief executive officer.

"By the time it's done, we'll have about $5.5 million invested in the facility," he said.

The new Carrollwood office will consolidate a couple of smaller offices and offer various specialties and diagnostic services under one roof similar to Florida Medical's larger facilities in Land O'Lakes and Zephyrhills.

"We were trying to find a location that would fit our needs, and the Borders building was just sitting there empty," Delatorre said.

Carrollwood had some advantages.

"There's not another multispecialty group in the area," said Delatorre. "With the growth of St. Joseph's (Hospital-North) and the Carrollwood area, it's just a natural progression."

Florida Medical opened in Zephyrhills in 1993 when four physicians' offices (a family medicine doctor, rheumatologist, gastroenterologist and internal medicine) merged their practices into one. Now the multispecialty group has more than 160 providers and 28 various specialities, from primary care doctors to cardiologists.

Doctors in the group can access a patient's health information, so those who need to visit a specialist don't have to worry about getting records transferred. The group also utilizes electronic health records.

"It's hard to describe until you're sick and you need to go see your doctor. (The physicians) can really focus on getting to the appropriate diagnosis quickly," said Delatorre.

USF Health expands

Another burgeoning medical facility has expanded its offices. USF Health recently acquired additional office space in the University Professional Center on Fletcher Avenue.

The need for faculty offices has increased as more doctors are using the new Morsani Center for Advanced Healthcare nearby, said Joseph Jackson, director of managed care and clinical facilities for USF Health.

In 2009, USF Health built its Faculty Office Building to accommodate the doctors who saw patients at the Morsani medical facility. But the faculty building, which gave them space for administrative work, has gotten full.

"It's a series of dominoes that are falling," said Jackson. "All the physicians who practice in that building (Morsani Center) have loaded up and filled this (faculty) building to the brink."

As a result, some administrative offices are moving from the faculty building into the University Professional Center on Fletcher. USF Health renewed its lease of 6,010 square feet on the fifth floor and leased an additional 9,762 square feet on the third floor of the professional center.

Three USF Health programs moving into the newly leased space are USF Health's Self Insurance Program, Professional Integrity Office and the PaperFree Florida program, a grant-funded program working to encourage physicians' practices throughout Florida to convert to electronic health records.

Jackson noted that with all of the USF Health physicians now practicing out of the Morsani Center, the old medical building on the corner of Holly Drive and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard is vacant. Plans are in the works to turn that building into a welcome center for USF Health over the course of the next year.

Elizabeth Miller can be reached at [email protected]

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