Sunday, October 24, 2021

Your Access to Primary Care on Marco Island Just Got Easier

To Your Health

There are many things I enjoy about having this column in Coastal Breeze News. To begin, I get to educate the public on a significant number of healthcare issues. And as I live on Marco, the residents consist largely of my friends and neighbors.

I also get to share the more “human” side of Physicians Regional’s extraordinary group of primary care physicians and specialists. 

Perhaps my most popular topic is the importance of an established relationship with a primary care physician. This is even more imperative as we get older. A primary care physician guides our care as our medical needs change and expand.

Most who live on or travel frequently to Marco Island are familiar with our clinic at the corner of Barfield and San Marco. This facility has two parts: a walk-in clinic and a doctor’s office.

Though immediate care is available on the walk-in side, I’m pleased to announce that our doctor’s office is now staffed with primary care physicians five days a week.

So, if you are looking to align yourself with a primary care physician—or make a change to your current relationship—allow me to introduce you to some exceptional local options:

Yanet Acosta, MD
Family Medicine

Eduardo Cabrera, MD
Family Medicine

Dr. Leonard Glaser, MD
Internal Medicine

Michael Helton, MD
Internal Medicine

Gary Webb, MD
Family Medicine

“I believe that the key to making a difference in patients’ lives is to provide excellent health care with respect, understanding and medical knowledge.”

Dr. Acosta, who is bilingual in English and Spanish, places a particular emphasis on the prevention and treatment of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. She also has a special interest in pediatrics and adolescent medicine.

“I care for people of all ages—at all stages of life,” says Dr. Acosta. “I see patients for prevention and I treat a wide range of illnesses, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, thyroid disease, respiratory condition and much more.”

Her interest in Family Medicine emerged when she began working in social service in her hometown. “I loved the opportunity to serve as the first point of contact for patients seeking medical care as well as the opportunity to get involved with my community to promote preventive health.”

“All patients deserve a safe space to discuss any issues pertaining to their health without feeling shame or fear.”

As a family physician, Dr. Cabrera can treat a wide variety of illnesses. As he is not limited to just one specialty, he can interact and consult with entire families and strongly believes that all patients, regardless of age, should be treated with dignity and respect.

Dr. Cabrera is married to Dr. Acosta, whom you have already met. He is also bilingual in English and Spanish.

His go-to philosophy: “I always teach patients about the importance of a healthy lifestyle—including a healthy and balanced diet, regular exercise and routine follow-up visits.”

On a more personal note, he takes his lifestyle advice a step further: “I encourage patients to take the time to do what makes them happier in their lives.”

“One must have implicit trust in his or her doctor’s skills in treatment and that the doctor has his or her best interest at heart.”

Dr. Glaser chose Internal Medicine because he was fascinated by the rigor of the science of medicine in all its specialties, such as infectious disease, endocrinology, cardiology, etc. “I wanted to apply all this knowledge, in a lifelong relationship with my patients, to make their lives better.”

And his philosophy on patient care? One word: Quality. “Quality is hard to define, but everyone knows it when they see it. The achievement of quality healthcare is a creative act; the art of medicine.”

The most recent addition to our primary care staff, Dr. Glaser chose Southwest Florida primarily to be closer to family and to achieve a healthier work-life balance.

A transplant from Southington, Connecticut, Dr. Glaser explains, “I noticed that my patients who wintered in Florida were more vigorous and healthier when they returned in the spring than their counterparts who wintered in the north. Here I can continue to pursue my love of medicine and outdoor exercise year-round.”

“I enjoy the jigsaw puzzle of figuring out the diagnosis as to what disease process is affecting the patient. Internal Medicine is just that.”

Dr. Helton’s most common healthcare advice works for patients of all ages: “Start taking care of yourself now even if you didn’t before. You can still make a difference in your quality of life.”

To Dr. Helton, success as a physician starts with listening, and applying this new information to medical knowledge and the physical examination. “It’s so important to be attentive to the patient’s history and issues.” This statement is not surprising; coming from a man who also believes that communication and trust are the most important aspects of the doctor/patient relationship.

A diabetic himself, Dr. Helton is also a go-to physician for people with diabetes. “Diabetes isn’t the end of the world—it is manageable.” And he’s not a fan of the phrase, “I can’t do….” His preference is to work with his patients on what is possible.

Dr. Helton accepts his reality and reminds others how empowering it can be to accept their own. “Out of sight, out of mind doesn’t work. It’s going to be there when you open your eyes.”

“With the knowledge that America is aging, I opted to pursue Family Medicine with a slant toward the specific needs of the older population.”

When your practice philosophy is “to make a difference in improving the quality of life for my patients,” you’re off to a good start. However, Dr. Webb has a very eloquent view of what awaits dedicated medical professionals on the other side of the work: “The best ‘pay’ I receive is when a medical family patient or their family returns and is happy with the service I provided. I remember a little 4-year-old girl who—after getting a shot—came to me with tears still in her eyes and gave me a big hug and said, ‘thank you for making me well.’”

As a geriatrician, Dr. Webb also places an emphasis on communication in his effort to treat the whole person. “People like that I’m a good listener,” he says. “I try to treat them like family. And once they get to know me, they start to treat me like family, too.”


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