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Medical Staff Reaches 40-Year Milestone

July 29 marks my fortieth anniversary on the Lee Health medical staff. As I reflect on my profession, I take into consideration the glory it has been—and continues to be—to serve our community and work alongside so many talented, skilled, compassionate physicians, advanced providers, nurses, leaders, technicians, and all the members of our team.

My profession in Southwest Florida began with a gathering and a handshake with obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Allen Shevach within the food court on the Edison Mall. I joined his practice and spent 24 years practicing obstetrics/gynecology. There have been many highlights, including delivering the primary baby at Cape Coral Hospital and accepting leadership positions, like serving as chief of the OB department and president of the Medical Staff. I co-founded Physicians Primary Care of Southwest Florida. I accepted leadership opportunities with Lee Health—first at Cape Coral Hospital after which with the health system as Chief Operating Officer and now as President & CEO.

I actually have had a front-row seat watching Lee Health evolve to fulfill the needs of our community—growing from a single hospital admitting around 20,000 patients in 1983 to a comprehensive health system with multiple hospitals, physician practices, and facilities with greater than 2 million patient contacts annually. A team of a number of thousand is now 17,000+ strong (Lee Health employees and Lee Health Medical Staff members).

Being an OB/GYN was incredibly rewarding—there may be nothing like with the ability to hand a baby to recent parents. Many Lee Health team members have shared with me that I used to be the doctor who delivered them or I delivered their babies—it means so much that we now have that connection. I actually have had women stop me in stores, restaurants, and other places throughout our community to point out me pictures of their children that I delivered. I had a girl stop me to inform me I saved her daughter’s life when she had an ectopic pregnancy. I can’t put into words what it means to the touch people’s lives and to still have opportunities through leadership positions to affect people through healthcare delivery in our community.

I actually have a 40-year affiliation with our health system that has been caring for and serving our community for greater than 105 years—and what an honor that’s. I’m very proud to be a part of this mission-driven organization dedicated to being a security net and caring for everybody. The Lee Health team feels a profound responsibility for the health and well-being of our community. I appreciate the leading-edge care and outcomes we deliver for our patients. Now we have an incredibly strong foundation and tenure to construct on, and I look ahead to continuing to work in service and take care of our community.

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