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University of Florida Health debuts family medicine, pediatrics practice in Starke

The University of Florida Health Family Medical Group opens Monday in Starke, giving patients convenient access to primary care and pediatric services as well as the broader medical expertise of the UF Health system.

The UF Health Family Medical Group – Starke is now caring for patients of Shands Starke Medical Group and accepting new patients. A group of eight health care providers, including four physicians as well as nurse practitioners and physician assistants, will staff the Bradford County practice.

The transition is expected to be simple for existing patients: Their medical records will be transferred to the UF Health system, the practice remains at its current site (1550 S. Water St., Starke), and the list of accepted insurance providers is virtually unchanged, said Walt Atyeo, administrative director of UF Health’s Regional Physicians Network.

Patients will also see some familiar faces: Many of the longtime nurses at the practice are continuing in their roles.

The transition comes with new benefits. Patients who need further treatment now have a seamless referral process for UF Health specialists. Likewise, the family medicine and pediatrics providers at the UF Health Family Medical Group will have ready access to details of the care provided by those specialists.

“This provides access to an integrated health care system with high-quality care and expert health care providers,’’ said Bruce A. Mast, M.D., associate dean of regional programs and a professor in the UF College of Medicine’s department of surgery. “Patients now have the ability to get easy access to diagnostic and hospital-based care. It also provides health care stability to the area. Our practice is going to be there for a long time.”

Due to the Family Medical Group’s affiliation with UF Health, patients will have better access to pharmaceutical studies and other state-of-the-art clinical trials, Mast said. Telehealth, which allows patients to have a health care appointment through the internet, is also being considered for the Starke practice.

Mast said he is pleased to welcome Starke-area patients to the UF Health family.

“UF Health is well known for its excellent, evidence-based treatment that puts patient care at the top of the list. It is very satisfying to bring that to residents in the area,” Mast said.

The practice will be open weekdays from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. To reach the UF Health Family Medical Group – Starke, call 904-368-2480.

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Doug Bennett
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