|TO SCHEDULE A NEW PATIENT APPOINTMENT:
SIMED's tenets are: Respect, Trust and Fairness.
Southeastern Primary Care will demonstrate:
Respect for your patient confidentiality and your wishes in how you would like to direct your healthcare needs.
Trust is reliance on another person to do the right thing at the appropriate time. We have a team of providers who have complete trust in each other. Your provider has a tremendous amount of support from peers and ancillary staff, this equates to confidence in our practice and in caring for you.
Fairness is how we care for our patients regardless of race, color, creed, religion or financial status.
Your primary care providers strive to give patients accessibility and accountability. We are in good standings in our respective specialties and continue to educate ourselves in the latest consensus recommendations and technologies.
All of our providers see patients in the office or clinic setting. Some of our providers also care for our patients in the hospital setting (in-patient), nursing homes and specialty rehab care setting. This gives us the best opportunity to care for our "patient family." Our providers are in communication with our inpatient physicians and we work together to improve your health.
SIMED providers will see you at any of our convenient locations in North and Central Florida to include: Gainesville, Chiefland, Ocala, McIntosh and The Villages.
Your primary care provider is a part of a team of enthusiastic individuals coordinating your health care. Our ancillary staff excel in making your appointments timely and convenient, your referrals expedient, your billing needs efficient and your questions answered in a timely fashion. Our ancillary staff allows your physician to focus on you and not all the intricacies of the ever changing health care model.
By choosing a Southeastern Primary Care Provider you will be in essence adopting a team of individuals have respect for the importance of your health to you and the trust that together, as a team, we can provide you the quality health care you and our communities deserve.
We look forward to serving you now and in the future.
For Information on how we can assist you click here.
May 17, 2013
Dr. Elder was presented with the Critical Care Services Award for being a "Stellar Physician" at North Florida Regional's Intensive Care Unit (ICU) last week. This is an award given quarterly to a physician that the nurses and staff recognize for outstanding care in the intensive care units at the hospital.
The nursing staff presented Dr. Elder with his award which included a plaque, which is hanging on the ICU fourth floor, and a small gift. Historically this award is not presented to physicians who are so new to the area however the nursing staff broke this trend due to the overwhelming nominations from their colleagues.
Congratulations Dr. Elder!
For more information please visit us at Southeastern Primary Care. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Elder please call: (352) 224-2225 or to request an appointment online please visit our Online Appointment Request.
May 17, 2013
The CMDA Nicaragua Mission trip provides an opportunity for interdisciplinary health students of the University of Florida and their mentors to serve internationally. The vision of the trip is for all students to have the unique educational and personal experience of practicing their field of study in an underserved area while working in collaboration with students, educators, and other health professionals.
Medically, Dr. Balbis' team provided expert advice and treatment for patient's medical conditions, some of which were chronic and others acute. They worked alongside doctors, dentists, physical therapists and optometrists who helped provide needed procedures and simple tools which left a lasting impact on the residents of the community.
In addition, medical students were able to work with a unique population while developing their skills and practicing new techniques which were demonstrated by the professionals who accompanied them on this trip.
For more information on the CMDA program or how you can help volunteer or support this important trip, please visit the UF & Shands website.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Balbis please call 352-376-2608 or go to our Online Appointment Request Form
May 17, 2013
In addition there will be:
- Free screenings, wellness information and gifts
- Breakfast and luncheon provided
- Comedienne and Noted Author Linda Larson is coming to Gainesville for our program and will deliver our keynote presentation.
When: Saturday, May 4th, 2013, 8am-2pm
Where: Hilton University of Florida Conference Center, 1714 SW 34th St Gainesville, FL 32607
Ticket Price: $20
April 4, 2013
When it comes to diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), heart disease and stroke, the African-American community is in a higher risk category.
"The first stroke risk is almost twice as much for African Americans than whites and we are more likely to die from stroke," according to Rachel Francis, PA-C at First Care of Gainesville. "High blood pressure occurs more often and is often more severe in the black population and the development of diabetes is nearly twice as likely for African Americans."
Education is the first step in preventing these diseases from affecting someone you care about. "We can take big strides in prevention with small changes like eating a healthier diet, quitting smoking, getting more exercise, and getting regular health checkups."
Start by scheduling a visit with your Southeastern Primary Care or First Care of Gainesville provider or by requesting an appointment online.
For tips and information on heart health and how you can prevent heart disease visit the American Heart Association or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
April 4, 2013
Beloved doctors Roger and Elizabeth Velasquez retiring
Their wide smiles seem synchronized, and they cut into each other’s sentences, as the cliche goes, as if they could finish them for each other.
But unlike most married couples, Drs. Roger and Elizabeth Velasquez, physicians at Gainesville’s Southeastern Primary Care, also spend most of their working hours together.
“We’ve been married as long as we’ve been practicing medicine,” Elizabeth said. And now, after nearly 40 years, the Velasquezes, both age 62 and born a month apart (he’s older), are retiring together at the end of the month.
“When our daughter was young, people used to ask her if she wanted to be a doctor like her mom and dad, and she said, ‘No, because I never see my mother or my father!’” said Elizabeth. “One of our motives for early retirement is to spend more time with our grandchildren.”
The Velazquezes will head south, to Miami, to be near their daughter, also Elizabeth, and her growing family in Fort Lauderdale.
Elizabeth and Roger met in 1970, as medical students in their native Nicaragua. Roger was studying ophthalmology and Elizabeth, internal medicine. They married four years later, and then moved to Miami to do a post-graduate course. The Sandinista Revolution was just starting, so they decided to stay in the U.S. and moved to New York City for more training. They ended up staying in the city for nearly a decade and then left for the little town of Keystone Heights in Florida. Opening their own practice in Melrose followed, and then they discovered Gainesville.
“There weren’t any movie theaters or restaurants there so people said to go to Gainesville. That’s how we started coming to Gainesville,” Roger said.
By the time they decided to move to Gainesville, the Velasquezes had a large following of patients in Melrose, Starke and Palatka who would travel to continue to be seen by them.
Jonnie Sue Kelley, 75, of Bell, has been seeing Elizabeth for about 15 years. Kelley’s mother was Elizabeth’s patient, and now Kelley’s whole family is cared for by Roger or Elizabeth.
Kelley recalls the first time she went to Elizabeth. “I was having a mild heart attack in her office and was trying to hide it. Dr. Elizabeth immediately took care of me, and sent me to a cardiologist, and several days later, I had open heart surgery,” Kelley said. “She’s very intelligent and likes to go to the heart of the matter.
“I’m not sure I’d be alive if it hadn’t been for her.”
Kelley said the personal touch is what distinguishes Elizabeth and Roger from other doctors.
“Last year I was in the hospital for Thanksgiving, and she even stopped by before her Thanksgiving dinner,” Kelley said. Another time that Kelley was in the hospital, Roger stopped by. “I can remember him saying to me, ‘We are praying for you.’ And that meant a lot to me.”
The Velasquezes are very religious, and many call them humble. They start every day with 7 a.m. Mass at Holy Faith Catholic Church near their clinic at 4343 Newberry Road.
“That’s where we get our strength to do long hours. We have to be grateful for everything we’ve done,” Elizabeth said.
That spirit of gratitude -- and service -- ultimately drives them. When they first moved to Florida and worked in the small towns, “we used to do almost everything: house calls, nursing homes,” Roger said. “We enjoyed all that and are grateful that we’ve been able to serve.”
Elizabeth said that she learned compassion from her father, also a physician.
“Growing up I remember there were people who couldn’t pay so when they got better they’d come back with eggs or a chicken,” Elizabeth said. “For me to be a physician is not just a profession. It’s a calling. I love what I do.”
Roger echoes that sentiment: “You don’t have to do great things in life … but small things with great love.”
That love comes out in how the Velasquezes care for their patients. “Their magic is in how caring they are with their patients. It sticks with patients, and they keep coming back,” said Dr. Clarisol Martinez, who will inherit some of the Velasquezes’ patients at Southeastern Primary Care. Importantly, many of those patients are native Spanish speakers with whom the Velasquezes have been able to communicate in their language. That’s something Martinez, originally from Puerto Rico, can continue.
“A person is not just a body, but a soul, and our effort is to see the whole person,” said Roger, who with his long fingers laced together and resting on his stomach, seems relaxed and patrician, where Elizabeth is quick to comment and tears up thinking about leaving her patients.
Elizabeth has focused mostly on women’s care, and Roger’s niche has been elder care. “Working with the elderly has helped me gain perspective in life and see where I’m going,” Roger said.
Between the two of them, the Velasquezes count more than 3,000 patients -- and many graduations, weddings and other life landmarks of their patients that they’ve shared over the years.
“I can’t tell you how many friends I’ve sent to (Elizabeth), and everyone has stayed with her,” Kelley said.
“The whole city of Gainesville and surrounding counties … everyone who has them as a patient is going to terribly miss them,” Kelley said.