This is a milestone year for José Jiménez, M.D., and Nancy Silva, M.D. Their practice, Small World Pediatrics, is proud to be celebrating the 20 years it’s been since Dr. Jiménez first opened the doors in 2003.
Small World Pediatrics is located in the Windguard Professional Center across Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. from AdventHealth Wesley Chapel. It has been there since 2010, when the practice moved from its original location in the Northwoods plaza on BBD in Wesley Chapel, near Target.
Dr. Jiménez’s wife, Dr. Silva, joined the practice in 2014. Since then, the couple has worked together to serve their patients — consulting each other and often working as a team — while also serving the community.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the doctors were community leaders, hosting a weekly live chat on Facebook to update anyone who tuned in (or watched later) on the latest guidance from the CDC, translating complicated and confusing information to make it more understandable to the general public, and answering questions.
Dr. Silva says they ended the Facebook live video chats last September after recording nearly 90 episodes. Life seemed to move on from Covid, but Dr. Jiménez says, “It’s not behind us. Sadly, it’s not ever going to be over.”
Thankfully, though, he says, “We’re not seeing it as much and not as many children who are long-haulers.”
That refers to kids who had symptoms more than a month after they first got Covid. Sometimes, for example, Dr. Jiménez would see a child who would come in for a well visit and hear gurgling in their lungs. They had Covid weeks ago, but the effects of the virus lingered.
The doctors say that with more people being vaccinated, which helps to prevent severe symptoms, and those who have had it before, which builds immunity (although for how long that immunity lasts is still in question), along with mutations that have weakened the virus, things are looking better for the community at large.
“Of course, we can’t predict the future, and the fear is that mutation can still strengthen the virus,” he says,
Not only did the pair commit their time and energy to educating the public via these weekly (later every-other-week) videos, they also jumped through hoops to bring the Covid vaccine to their practice. The Florida Department of Health was requiring a minimum order of 1,000 vaccines and the vials had to be used within hours of opening. But, Dr. Silva persisted and was able to pick up smaller quantities from a satellite location — while manually customizing software to be able to record information about the new vaccine in office records and meticulously tracking each dose — so that the vaccine could be available in their office.
“It was a major administrative hurdle,” she says, “But we intended this to be a support to the community when they needed it.”
Patients such as Geraldina Cuozzo, who lives in Meadow Pointe, say that support was crucial.
She was so relieved to discover Small World Pediatrics during the pandemic, and she began taking her daughter, Guillermina, who is now eight, to the practice.
“I was going to a different doctor,” she says, “but when the pandemic came through, I was really scared. I contacted them and found out they were testing in the office. I felt very safe so I immediately switched to them.”
Now, three years later, Geraldina is glad she made that choice.
“I’m very comfortable there,” she says. “They go beyond my expectations. They answer all my questions, listen to all my concerns, and explain everything to me.”
Dr. Silva says she and her husband can relate to the families who bring their kids to Small World Pediatrics, because they are busy parents, business owners, and members of the community, too. Like many of their patients, they live in Meadow Pointe.
Their son, 17, is in marching band and Boy Scouts, while their daughter, age nine, is in dance, gym, and Girl Scouts. Dr. Silva serves as a leader in the scouting organizations and has to manage her office responsibilities and home roles, such as getting her kids everywhere they’re scheduled to be.
She says this helps her to be a more empathetic doctor.
“It’s not just me taking care of your kid,” says Dr. Silva. “I’m thinking about my kids and how they were at that age. I’m thinking about how I survived the terrible twos and the teenage years. I truly understand the struggle of work-life balance. It’s really a juggle, and I’m right there with you.”
While the office has been established for two decades, Dr. Jiménez and Dr. Silva have lived in the community even longer.
“We like to have those connections with our patients,” Dr. Silva says. “We run into patients at schools and at the grocery store.”
The doctors are proud that they stayed open throughout Covid, were always available by phone to their patients and that they didn’t reduce their staff or let anyone go during the pandemic. The staff currently consists of the two doctors, office manager and medical assistant Courtney White and medical receptionists Tonya Weicut and Diana Foley.
Dr. Jiménez earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in Gainesville in 1992, after transferring from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. He then earned his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the University of South Florida (USF) College of Medicine in Tampa in 1996, and completed his pediatric residency at USF in 2000.
Dr. Silva earned her M.D. degree from the State University of New York (SUNY) Health Science Center in Brooklyn in 1997, after earning a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in an Honors B.S./M.D. program at City University of New York (CUNY) Brooklyn College in 1993. Like Dr. Jiménez, she also completed her residency at USF in 2000. She worked for a group in Brandon until joining Small World Pediatrics.
The doctors have been established in the community for so long now, that they are beginning to see the second generation of families come to them.
“My first patient ever just had a baby and brought his child in to see us,” says Dr. Jiménez.
The practice also added telemedicine during the pandemic, and they still offer that option for their patients. They can meet the needs of families who are working and can’t come to the office, and can even see patients after hours with that virtual option. Physicals can’t be done that way, but many other types of appointments — such as a sick visit or medicine check — can.
Dr. Silva says the practice is doing promotions on Facebook and she invites everyone to participate.
“When gas prices were super high, we offered a giveaway of gas cards,” she says. “Every quarter we pick a different theme. If you like our page and the post, it gets you into the raffle. It’s a fun thing.”
Small World Pediatrics is located at 2527 Windguard Cir., Suite 102, and is open Mon.–Fri., 9 a.m.–5 p.m. For more information, call (813) 907-8001 or visit SmallWorldPediatrics.com.