UF&Shands helps Ocala

Pediatric specialists will visit

Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 5:29 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 5:29 p.m.

OCALA - More than 100 children each month head from Ocala to UF&Shands in Gainesville for specialized care. They leave the area because the specialized pediatric medical care they need isn’t available in Marion County.

Parents must take off from work. And children, already uncomfortable or in pain because of their illness, must endure the trip.

That changed beginning this month when University of Florida College of Medicine pediatric subspecialists began visiting both Ocala and Lake City to see patients.

UF College of Medicine pediatricians specializing in endocrinology, hematology/oncology, neurology and pulmonology created a partnership with Ocala Pediatrics to use office space and support staff in order to see area patients here twice each month.

The UF pediatricians will be available at Ocala Pediatrics, 1500 SE 17th St., Suite 600, the following days:

• Second Tuesday of each month: hematology/oncology and endocrinology

• Fourth Tuesday of each month: neurology and pulmonology

“We view this as part of our normal operations,” said Dr. Scott Rivkees, pediatrics chairman for the UF College of Medicine. “It’s all about making things comfortable for the family and child.”

Rivkees is an endocrinologist.

“The department of pediatrics and its divisions are very committed to continuing to improve the medical care that we provide to our community,” said Dr. Edgard Andrade, interim co-chief and an assistant professor of pediatric neurology.

He will also see patients at the satellite offices.

“As such, I am very supportive of the efforts we’re undertaking to improve patient care, accessibility and patient satisfaction, evidenced by the highly experienced faculty that will staff the satellite clinics,” he said.

Reach Fred Hiers at fred.hiers@starbanner.com and 867-4157.

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