UPPER TAMPA BAY -- Tampa Family Health Centers will add to its services in this area with a new $2 million facility.
The company will break ground on the complex near Hillsborough Avenue and Countryway Boulevard before the end of the year and expects to open the 17,000-square foot facility in summer 2019 west of Town 'n Country. It will serve as a prototype for the center and join two other area centers, one on Sheldon Road and one on West Waters, operated by the nonprofit organization.
"The needs are so tremendous in that area," said Tampa Family Health Centers CEO Sherry Hoback, recently. "The Shelton Road location is packed at 7:30 a.m. each day."
The new center, which is a federally qualified health center, will offer family practice, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, dental services and behavioral mental health.
Hoback said it probably will open with seven providers. It eventually could have up to 10 providers among about 50 employees, including medical and dental assistants as well a office personnel.
"This latest health care center was inspired by the vision to create a more personal healthcare experience," Hoback said.
Terence Beck, the health centers' chief operating officer, said, "Because of its size, we are expecting the number of patients to be very much like the Sheldon Road center," which had 15,206 in 2017 and is expecting 18,096 in 2018. (The smaller West Waters center had 8,632 patients in 2017 and is expecting 10,272 in 2018).
"We know the center will be very busy and we will be ready to add more staff if it takes on more patients than we anticipated," Hoback said.
The facility also will be the Tampa Family Health Center's first retail pharmacy, where patients will be able to get prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.
"We always had a pharmacy but we want to be sure patients can get everything there. Then they can go home and focus on getting well," Hoback said.
Hoback said the center will have a smaller waiting areas than most centers "as patients will be greeted and directed to whatever area best suits their needs."
She added, "This is a conduit to get them back to the exam rooms as soon as possible."
Even though types of medicine will be separate, the layout will allow collaboration between departments.
It also will be more "green" than previous centers including more natural lighting; LED lights throughout; green space; hand dryers in the restrooms instead of paper towels; and some green area parking.
The center will be the first to include an Educational Community Room for classes, grand rounds and other services as well as office space for the county's Health Living Program with social services.
"We will be using it to bring the community together with such things as diabetes classes and healthy eating workshops," Hoback said.
The center should be a good addition to the Town 'n Country community, said Gerry Custin, director of business, manufacturing and education for the Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce, which serves the area.
"With the aging population and the demographics that is a very good location," Custin said. "That should support the community well."
He said it also will be an asset as Tampa Community Hospital, 6001 Webb Road, will merge this fall with Memorial Hospital , 2901 Swann Ave. Tampa Community Hospital will focus on behavioral health and substance abuse rehabilitation, instead of its current comprehensive medical, diagnostic and surgical offerings. The emergency room will remain open, said Custin, who works closely with the hospital.
Contact Lenora Lake at [email protected]