By Matt Wiley

If you’re looking for a doctor who can take care of most of your family’s medical needs, consider an appointment with Dr. Richard Kay at Family Wellness Center, located less than two miles north of the Hillsborough County line in the Windfair Professional Park (near the Shoppes of Wesley Chapel and across Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. from Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel, or FHWC), a family-run practice that serves everyone from children ages 5 and older all the way up to geriatric adults.

Dr. Kay is an American Board of Family Medicine-Certified Family Practitioner who has been taking care of families in the Wesley Chapel area since opening his practice in September of 2008.

Born and raised in Miami, Dr. Kay graduated from the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans in 1977 before completing a residency at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Jacksonville, FL, in 1980. He now has more than 25 years of experience as a primary care medical doctor. Before opening his first practice, Dr. Kay worked in Oregon for the Portland Adventist Group, and for five years in a practice in Ashville, NC, before spending three years traveling across Florida as a mobile doctor for geriatric patients, visiting the elderly in their homes.

“We set up this practice here because we wanted our daughter, Bobbie Boyer, to run the office,” Dr. Kay explains. “She was already living in this area and she’s very meticulous and very precise.”

Dr. Kay’s wife, Marie, is the practice’s business manager. The family vibe of the office can be felt by just walking through the front door.

“I try to make this as much fun as I can,” says Bobbie. “We work in the medical field and you can’t always make everyone happy, but we do like to laugh.”

Just about four years after opening his practice, FHWC opened across BBD, where Dr. Kay also works as a staff doctor. Working with FHWC (a member of the Adventist Health System) was a perfect match for Dr. Kay, because of his previous experience at the Adventist-owned hospital in Portland before moving to Florida.

As a doctor on FHWC’s staff, Dr. Kay has the ability to both admit and visit his patients if they ever have a condition that warrants a stay in the hospital.

“I go see my own patients at the hospital, instead of them being assigned a hospital doctor,” he says. “They know me and I know them, so it makes it much more comfortable for the patient.”

In addition to being on staff, Dr. Kay also is the chairman of the FHWC Ethics Committee, which is a group of doctors and professionals that, using morals and ethics, work together to determine the best care approaches and plans for patients in difficult situations, such as for older patients and their families, who need to make major decisions about their future care.


Everything A Family Needs

The Family Wellness Center accepts most major insurance companies and services include sports, school and pre-employment physicals, minor surgeries (such as biopsies), preventive care treatment (such as electrocardiograms or EKGs), routine physical exams, gynecological exams (which he performs with an assistant in the room), child checkups, acute care, sleep apnea screenings and even allergy testing.

“I like working with entire families,” explains Dr. Kay. “My practice is a little unusual in that about 50 percent of my patients are male and 50 percent are female. Men typically don’t seek medical attention as much (as women do). Usually, their wives make them come, but everyone seems to enjoy coming here.”

That enjoyment could be due to the fact that, with the help of his “scribe,” Anne Weidner, Dr. Kay is able to have a much more personal visit with his medical patients because Anne stays in the room throughout the appointment with a laptop and takes down notes of all of the information that the patient is giving the doctor and that the doctor is giving the patient — and stores the info in each patient’s electronic medical record (EMR).

“That way, I don’t have my nose in a computer like I have for the past four years,” Dr. Kay says, laughing. “I’ve had a scribe since May and it’s been great. Anne can spell and type a lot faster than me, too. I’ve found that most patients (prefer to) have direct eye contact with their doctor and now I can have direct eye contact with them, as well.”

Weidner and other scribes work for a Tampa-based company called Medical Scribe Alliance (MSA) and are more commonly found in hospital emergency rooms. Scribes usually are students in either a Pre-Med or Pre-Nursing program, which allows them to gain experience in the medical field.


Back To School Checkups

As the 2013-14 school year approaches, the Family Wellness Center is offering sports and school physicals, as well as regular check-ups for kids, because, Dr. Kay says, kids will get sick no matter what. However, he likes to emphasize that a cold is not always something that warrants a trip to the doctor or antibiotics.

“If your kids go to school, they’re going to come home with colds,” Dr, Kay explains. “But, if they’re only showing symptoms for two or three days, they really don’t need antibiotics. But, if a cold lasts longer than a week, the child should see a doctor.”

If your child isn’t suffering from a cold, but has cold-like symptoms, allergies could be the cause and Dr. Kay can screen for those, as well.

“We test for 72 different types of allergies,” Dr. Kay says. “Then, we send the information off to a company that mixes up a custom formula for the patient to drop under their tongue from the comfort of his or her home. The custom formula gradually desensitizes the patient to the allergy so that their response is much less severe if they do come into contact with what they’re allergic to. It’s a lot better than having go to the doctor once a week, get shots and then have to wait after the shots before you can leave.”

Another common ailment that Dr. Kay says many people suffer from and don’t even know it is sleep apnea.

“If you often feel like you didn’t get a good night’s rest and you’re tired all day, you might suffer from sleep apnea,” Dr. Kay says. “Sleep apnea is a condition in which your body is not getting enough oxygen during the night, due to periodically not breathing.”

To screen for this condition, Dr. Kay’s office provides the patient with a device that he or she can wear during the course of three nights to determine the oxygen levels in the body while they sleep. The patient brings the device in to the office and Dr. Kay’s staff can check the results to determine if the patient is suffering from sleep apnea.

Even while sitting in the waiting room, patients seem to really enjoy coming to see Dr. Kay.

“I’ve had a lot of doctors in my lifetime, but he’s the most patient-oriented doctor I’ve ever had,” says J.C. Terry of Oldsmar. “He’s old-style. He’s not in and out and about the money. He takes his time and makes patients comfortable. He makes you feel like he’s there for you, not that you’re there to see him.”

Looking for a new family doctor? Give Family Wellness Center a call at 994-0611 or schedule an appointment at The office, located at 2718 Windguard Cir., Suite 101, is open 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and new patients always are welcome.

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