The Pamela Muma Women's Health Center <span class='image-credits'>Courtesy of USF</span>

USF Health concierge center to provide 1-stop shop

For Pamela Muma, February 6 is a day 3½ years in the making.

On that day, USF Health will open the Pamela Muma Women’s Health Center, a 5,600-square-foot primary care facility on the renovated fifth floor of the USF Health South Tampa Center for Advanced Healthcare on Davis Island.

As a concierge health care facility, patients will pay an annual membership fee to receive more personalized, seamless care that focuses on their health needs as women and individuals. Muma and her husband Les contributed $2 million to make the center a reality. She is also the center’s community liaison and a patient. Muma says she saw the need for a concierge center focused on women’s health after her own frustrating experiences trying to secure timely appointments and schedule procedures in some centralized location.

When a patient at the new center needs to see a specialist, a nurse navigator will schedule the follow-up within the USF Health network, saving time and providing more seamless, coordinated care. The center’s location across the street to Tampa General Hospital and a short water taxi ride away from the new USF Health Morsani College of Medicine now under construction in Water Street Tampa will add to that coordination.

The goal, when possible, is to have same-day diagnostic and lab test results.

“We want them to have everything done in one location,” Muma says. “They won’t be going from one physician to the next and having to navigate the system.”

The center will serve some 600-700 patients annually, approximately 1/3 the number served by a typical primary care practice, according to USF Health. That will help patients schedule appointments more quickly and receive more focused care that includes 24-7 access to medical staff by private phone.

“Also, we are providing primary care,” says the center’s medical director Dr. Denise Edwards.” We are the quarterback for the team, essentially making sure that one doctor knows everything that is going on with the patient. If they are seeing multiple physicians, we want to ensure they are not getting fragmented care. We are going to give them more time and attention so they do not get lost in the shuffle.”

Edwards says the center was also decorated and designed to provide patients with a peaceful and calm atmosphere.
For patients, membership fees are $200 monthly or $2,000 for the year if paid upfront. There will also be a co-payment for office visits, with the amount determined by insurance coverage.

The center will have six exam suites and multiple areas where doctors and patients can review lab results and other medical information in individual sessions.

The decision to focus on women’s health needs is intended to meet a need in the health care system.

“We certainly know women are the drivers of health care,” she says. “There is plenty of data showing that they are the ones who make the health care decisions for their families, oftentimes making the appointments themselves. Unfortunately, oftentimes they are not taking care of themselves.”

Read more articles by Christopher Curry.

Chris Curry is a freelance writer living in Clearwater. Chris spent more than 15 years as a newspaper reporter, primarily in Ocala and Gainesville, before moving back home to the Tampa Bay Area. He enjoys our local music scene, great weather and the wealth of outdoor festivals.
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