Dr. Teena Hughes (red shirt), Dr. Roger Hughes, III, and the staff at Teena Hughes, M.D., P.A. Pediatrics on E. Fletcher Ave. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Teena Hughes)

For two decades now, Teena Hughes, M.D., has treated children at her private practice in the University Medical Park at E. Fletcher Ave. and N. 46th St., about five minutes south of Tampa Palms.

As her practice celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2021, Dr. Hughes is excited to welcome her son, Roger Hughes, III, D.O., to Teena Hughes, M.D., P.A., Pediatrics.

For now, the name remains unchanged, but both doctors agree the partnership reflects exciting growth.

Caregivers bring their children for routine care and well checks, including free prenatal consultations for moms-to-be. School and sports physicals are offered, as are vaccines. The providers also treat illnesses and injuries in children, and the doctors also are on staff at AdventHealth Tampa.

Dr. Teena Hughes is a Board-certified pediatrician who earned her M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) degree from the University of South Florida (now known as the Morsani) College of Medicine, followed by a three-year residency at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. She then spent seven years practicing in a health care group before launching her own private practice. 

Dr. Roger Hughes, III, joined the practice last July after completing a three-year pediatric residency through the University of Florida at Sacred Heart hospital in Pensacola, FL. Prior to that, he earned a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from the University of Florida in Gainesville in 2013. He then earned a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Bradenton, FL, in 2017.

“Initially I went to medical school thinking I would see adults, but in the third year you do rotations and I did pediatrics here in Tampa,” he says. “I loved it, so from there, it just kind of worked out.”

While Dr. Teena doesn’t expect it to happen anytime soon, the long-term plan is for Dr. Roger to eventually run the practice when the time comes for her to retire.

“The patients are excited and thrilled to meet him,” she says. “They’ve all heard about him over the years, and it’s nice to have someone to learn the ropes and get to know all the patients.”

In addition to helping with hospital rounds at AdventHealth Tampa and sharing the after-hours phone calls, Dr. Roger brings an influx of fresh ideas to the practice.

“It’s nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of and ask questions to,” says Dr. Teena.

She also says that some patients prefer to see a man, so she’s glad that he is now available to those patients.

Because she’s been in practice for more than two decades, Dr. Teena now sees the children of people who were her patients when they were kids.

“You have to be flattered,” she says, “It’s nice to see everybody grow up.”

In addition to the two doctors, patients also may see the practice’s two advanced nurse practitioners — Kelsy Overton, APRN, and Ashleigh Mader, APRN.

As a private practice, Dr. Teena says she and the other practitioners in her office offer more individualized service and have a better rapport with their patients than what you might find at some of the big pediatric groups. 

For example, when her patients call after hours, she knows exactly who she’s talking to. That’s different than the big groups, where doctors have to see patients from several different offices.

Dr. Teena Hughes Pediatrics offers benefits typically associated with a larger practice, such as extended hours. In fact, the office open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, but the plan is to expand those weekday hours to 8 p.m.

“We want to be more available for working parents,” she says, “and prevent emergency room visits.”

Jennifer Statz is a mom of three kids who moved to Westchase, but wouldn’t even consider finding a new pediatrician.

“I love them so much that I happily drive 30 minutes,” she says. “They’ve seen my kids grow up, and they’re almost like friends to me.”

While her kids have been cared for by Dr. Teena since her oldest child was born, they have seen Dr. Roger, too.

“I feel equally comfortable with them both,” she says. “I love seeing Dr. [Teena] Hughes, but it’s great to have both of them there. She’s got the experience and he’s full of all this new knowledge.”

Jennifer says that all of the practitioners at the office — and the staff members, too — are warm and genuine, and make her feel at ease, especially when her kids are anxious about vaccines or seeing the doctor in general.

“I always feel like they listen to my concerns, address them appropriately, and do whatever it takes to help me understand why they’re recommending a particular medicine or whatever it might be,” she explains. “I always leave there with everything I need.”

Covid Testing & Vaccines

While the office never closed during the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Hughes says there were many fewer patients over the past year, who would usually be seen for school physicals, sports physicals, and to be treated for illnesses they may have picked up at school.

“It’s now ramping back up,” she says, while the office continues to follow all protocols and guidelines recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) & Prevention.

The office also offers Covid-19 testing, which does take a couple of days to get results from the lab. And, thanks to the new CDC guidelines, the Pfizer Covid vaccine is now available at the office for anyone ages 5 and older and the Moderna vaccine is available to anyone ages 18 and older. 

“You do not have to be a patient to come in for the vaccine,” Dr. Teena says. 

The practice also has ramped up its partnerships with manufacturers and companies looking to improve their products, offering research trials to patients, if they want to participate.

For example, a current study gives new parents six months of free infant formula plus incentives to participate.

“Formula companies are always doing research to improve,” Dr. Teena says. “It’s great for a new mom who needs formula. These are tried-and-true companies, so it’s not experimental.”

She says the current projects have created an entire research department at her practice, which now includes five people. Active projects include vaccine trials for meningitis and pneumococcal pneumonia. Dr. Teena says rapid Covid testing should begin soon, and she’s also hoping to start Covid vaccine trials for children.

“It’s completely voluntary and if people don’t feel comfortable, they don’t have to participate,” she says. “We participate because it helps medicine to be new and innovative and helps patients.”

Teena Hughes, M.D., P.A., Pediatrics is located at 4444 E. Fletcher Ave. at N. 46th St. in Tampa. For appointments and more information, call (813) 903-0060 or visit TeenaHughesPediatrics.com.

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