The Villages Health expanding southward

The Villages Health Brownwood Care Center is one of the specialty care centers that is part of the Villages Health system.

The Villages Health is expanding to Lake Deaton Plaza to meet growing resident demand for primary care services.

It’s just the latest enhancement to The Villages as America’s healthiest hometown, said Bob Trinh, The Villages Health CEO.

“We are trying to stay up with the growth of The Villages,” he said. “As new Villagers move in, we want to be there and open so that we can take care of their health care needs.”

When completed around mid-summer next year, the Lake Deaton Care Center, located east of Morse Boulevard and north of State Road 44, it will become the seventh primary care center located throughout The Villages, along with two speciality care centers operated by The Villages Health.

It will also complement the pending opening of the Center for Advanced Healthcare at Brownwood, a multispecialty medical center, which The Villages Health will serve as one of providers with speciality care services there.

“Looking at a map, the Center for Advanced Healthcare at Brownwood is going to be only a 10-minute drive from Lake Deaton,” Trinh said. “That’s a convenience for residents because they’ll also have access to The Villages Health specialists at the Center for Advanced Healthcare at Brownwood. That’s providing them with very high quality care.”

All of this activity builds upon a strategic plan that benefits all Villagers, Trinh said.

The Lake Deaton Care Center, for example, would provide residents south of County Road 466A with an additional health care option for primary services, he said. And it will reduce patient capacity at the Colony Care Center at Colony Professional Plaza.

“Colony is nearing capacity,” Trinh said. “So, the Lake Deaton Care Center will free up capacity at Colony, and that is very important.”

The key to the expansion is providing the highest quality medical care possible, said Jeffrey Lowenkron, M.D., The Villages Health chief medical officer.

“To have a health care delivery system that focuses on the needs of the patient, then the single best thing you do is have a solid corps of primary care physicians who work very closely with the patient to understand all the conditions the patient may have and help the patient navigate the complexities of the health care system,” Lowenkron said. “Having that care close to home really is critical. That’s why, with the expansion of The Villages, having a care center close to the expansion today is important.”

What makes this possible is the successful continuing recruitment of primary care physicians and advanced practitioners, he said.

“We were really successful in 2019 with physician recruitment, as it also was for advanced practice professionals, which includes nurse practitioners and physician assistants,” Lowenkron said. “2020 is shaping up to where we will have the ability to meet all our recruitment needs this year, as well.”

The Villages Health is a multi-specialty medical group that delivers community-based, patient-centered healthcare in The Villages community in Central Florida and ranks at the top for both quality of care and patient experience.

Currently operating six primary care and two specialty care centers, including the new Center for Advanced Healthcare at Brownwood, TVH cares for over 55,000 patients. The TVH model of healthcare encompasses a vast scope of expertise and care in 15 specialties and primary care through both in-person and telehealth visits.

Lake Deaton Care Center, sited to the west side of the Citizens First Bank branch, builds upon the successful health care model that The Villages envisioned when it created The Villages Health, said Autumn Tripp, The Villages Health executive director of primary care services. It will staff more clinicians than the other care centers.

“It’s been expanded from our other care centers to house eight primary physicians and eight advanced practitioners,” she said. “Whereas our other care centers have eight physicians and four advanced practitioners.”

The new care center also builds upon the successful patient training services that The Villages Health offers, Tripp said.

“One significant change is our seminar training room,” she said. “Our community participates in classes that we make available to our patients and our community. So, we’ve expanded that space to accommodate 24 attendees at a time, which is double what we have in the other care centers. We’ve done that because of the great participation in our classes.”

Health care education is a critical component to patient well-being, Lowenkron said. That’s why the health care group sponsored 1,694 classes in 2019 on topics ranging from wellness to disease-management.

“The collaboration with the community has been incredible,” Lowenkron said. “We have a lot of really solid, hard-working people doing incredible things for the community.”

Senior writer David R. Corder can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5241, or david.corder@thevillagesmedia.com.