By Camille Gillies
When you’re surrounded by exemplary medical professionals, it can be easy to take quality medical care for granted. Residents of New Tampa and Wesley Chapel are fortunate to have in their own backyards an elite community of top-notch doctors who conduct research, teach and practice medicine.
One such team of renowned doctors – Drs. Lockey, Fox, Ledford and Glaum – comprises the practice of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates of Tampa Bay, located in the University Community Medical Center on Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd., just north of the University of South Florida (USF), just a few minutes drive from all of New Tampa.
Listed in “Who’s Who in Medicine and Health Care” and “The Best Doctors in America,” all four Board-certified doctors not only care for patients at this busy office, but also at locations in Citrus Park and Brooksville. They also are faculty members at USF’s Morsani College of Medicine. They are the only allergy specialists in the Tampa Bay area who are members of the USF faculty, training medical residents and fellows in medicine, pediatrics, allergy, asthma and immunology. If those credentials weren’t impressive enough, the doctors also actively participate in clinical state-of-the-art research, lecture both nationally and internationally, and are well known for leadership in their specialties. Richard Lockey, M.D., who founded the practice in 1973, is past president of the World Allergy Organization, which represents more than 80 countries, and both he and his colleague, Dennis Ledford, M.D., have served terms as president of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
The goal of these distinguished physicians and their other esteemed colleagues — Roger Fox, M.D., and Mark Glaum, M.D., Ph.D. — is to provide their patients with the most current and scientific medical care, diagnostic testing and treatment.
“Our doctors are on the cutting edge of allergy and immunology research,” says Angie Renner, the practice’s front office assistant. “With the most up-to-date scientific information, they treat people – both adults and children – for asthma, hay fever, chronic cough, sinusitis, immune system problems, allergic skin conditions, and allergies to insects, foods, drugs and pets.”
Anyone with any of these conditions will tell you that these ailments can be miserable and adversely affect your quality of life. For example, patient and New Tampa resident Beth Malone, has been seeing Dr. Lockey for six years and who suffers from asthma, allergies and eczema, says she first heard about Dr. Lockey from her boss.
“My boss recommended Dr. Lockey to me,” she says. “And he’s been wonderful. He is compassionate and helpful. When he’s been out of town or out of the office, I have seen the other doctors and they are all good, too. Plus, it’s easy to make an appointment, you rarely have to wait and they’re very prompt.” Beth speaks from experience. She says at one point she was visiting the office monthly; today, her appointments are every three months.
Perhaps it’s Dr. Lockey’s approach to medicine that makes him so popular with his patients. He says he advises his medical students to “be honest, work hard and take care of patients like they are their own next of kin.”
“I tell my students they also need to be intelligent but that’s probably only fourth on the list,” he laughs. “My philosophy is to treat patients like you were treating a member of your own family and refer (patients) to (other doctors) who share that same philosophy.”
Dr. Ledford shares the sentiment, stating in the practice brochure, “I treat all my patients with respect, never forgetting that they deserve the same excellent care I would want any member of my family to receive.”
Dr. Fox adds, “I sit down with each patient and ask, ‘How can I help you?,’” stressing the importance of listening. “For me, the clinical process begins with active listening.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Glaum credits his work at USF’s College of Medicine and his concentration on research with making him a more informed physician: “It keeps me up-to-the-minute on evolving science,” he says.
All four doctors strive to improve their patients’ quality of life with quality care. When you make an appointment with Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates, you can expect to be evaluated by a doctor who is at the forefront of medical science.
“We practice medicine optimally,” says Dr. Lockey. “We want to keep patients out of the hospital and treat them on an outpatient basis whenever we can.” He adds that he and his colleagues try to accommodate their patients’ needs as much as possible by being accessible to them and by educating them about self-management of their conditions and diseases.
Two of the nurses at the practice are nationally certified asthma educators themselves. “Our nurses focus on patient education,” Angie says, “and they’re great at it.”
The staff shares the same fondness for the practice as they do the patients. Despite boasting a staff of approximately 20 people, Angie says there hasn’t been much turnover.
“Some employees have been here more than 20 years,” she says.
This expert team of physicians can help if you or a family member has any of these conditions: allergic conjunctivitis, allergic rhinitis, anaphylaxis, asthma, cough, dermatitis, exercise-induced asthma, food allergy, GERD (heartburn), headaches, immune system disorders, influenza, insect hypersensitivity, latex allergy, medication allergy, shortness of breath, sinusitis, upper respiratory infections or urticaria (hives).
What to Expect
On the first visit, patients complete a questionnaire and are examined by one of the physicians who will discuss diagnostic tests and laboratory procedures, determine treatment plans and make recommendations.
Patients who need an allergy test can have it done on-site. The physician will review the results and discuss a course of treatment.
If you require immunotherapy (allergy injections), your physician will write a vaccine prescription based on your history and test results. The BBD office has a schedule of injection hours Monday through Friday to accommodate patients’ busy schedules.
For a wealth of information about Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Assoc. of Tampa Bay, visit Allergy Tampa.com. You can request an appointment and complete some initial paperwork online in the comfort of your home before your first visit. The website also includes an in-depth look at the impressive credentials of all of the practice’s doctors. For appointments, call 971-9743, or visit the main office at 13801 BBD (north of Fletcher Ave.), Suite 502.