By Tom Bostock

What do you get when you mix cutting-edge medical knowledge and caring experience with a generous dose of tender loving care in a nurturing, supportive environment? Add the skills you get only after years of experience and you have the recipe for the success of Pediatric Associates, the largest private pediatric practice in Florida with offices throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Duval, Hillsborough, and Seminole counties, with additional offices in Texas and California. With availability 365 days a year, they are ready, willing, and able to provide quality medical help for your child with the exceptional services Pediatric Associates is known for, whenever there is a need.  

A sick or injured child can be a traumatic experience for the entire family. With the onset of the pandemic of COVID-19 and the latest highly infectious DELTA variant, attacking both children and adults, it is especially important now to have a local pediatrician you and your child can count on. 

As their website notes,” with a focus on outstanding care and unshakeable enthusiasm, Pediatric Associates team members are a notch above the rest. Our most successful team members don’t see this as a job, but as an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our patients. Walk into any of our locations across Florida and you will truly see the fruits of our patient-first philosophy. This compassion carries through everything we do and is seen in every personal interaction – we are the embodiment of Pediatric Associates values.” 

The latest addition to the Pediatric Associates family in Tampa Bay is conveniently located in Citrus Park at 12871 Citrus Plaza, Tampa, FL 33625. Led by eminently qualified, and board-certified pediatrician, Dr. Gaud, I purposely wrote ‘family’ in referring to the newest facility because that was the way she proudly referred to the practice and her patients in our recent telephone interview. She noted she can provide services for her patients from newborn until they reach the age of twenty-one and are ready to move on to a general practitioner.  

Dr. Gaud brings an interesting background to her practice of medicine. She was born in Puerto Rico and attended the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, graduating in 1992. While in medical school, she had the opportunity to intern at Miami Children’s Hospital. She became interested in and wanted to take advantage of more extensive opportunities and the latest technologies,  moving to the United  States, and completing her Pediatric Residency at the University of Florida, HSCJ; it wasn’t surprising she specialized in Pediatrics.

Dr. Gaud said her mother told her she had told her she wanted to be a baby doctor before she was even ten. Rotations in surgery, emergency medicine, as well as a host of other specialties solidified her choice of pediatric medicine as her lifetime career. Almost thirty years later, Dr. Gaud’s many satisfied patients can attest to the fact that she made the right choice.

Dr. Gaud’s enthusiasm for Pediatric Associates and the facilities they offer her young patients was contagious. Unlike most typical children’s practices, hers offers in-house lab facilities for routine blood and urine diagnostic testing, minimizing the trauma to a child. “Children,” Dr. Gaud noted, “are fun to work with.” We become part of each other’s family. They become my kids in a way.”

Even when the doctor requires more extensive diagnostic testing, the actual blood draw, or specimen to be tested, is obtained in the friendly, familiar surroundings of the Pediatric Associates office, with the test forwarded to local, specialized labs for processing. The office then calls the family as soon as the results are available. It effectively helps to reduce a child’s stress.  

Dr. Gaud was especially excited about the proprietary ‘KidzDocNow’ telemedicine platform offered by Pediatric Associates. Much like Zoom or other media communications platforms, it offers the convenience of telecommunications from any device after downloading the free app. The app makes it easy to see a doctor from anywhere at any time from a cell phone, tablet, computer, or similar computer equipment. 

Although there are other programs, there is one important difference noted on the Pediatric Associates website: “Every provider is a board-certified pediatrician or pediatric-trained advanced practice provider. Your child will never be seen by an adult practitioner. Our providers are experts in virtual care, and for the most part, KidzDocNow is a full-time job. It is 24/7/365 access to pediatric care on the go or from the comfort of the home.” See KidzDocNow.us

With the specter of Covid-19 coronavirus impacting every industry and business, medicine is no exception. Pediatric Associates have instituted CDC-recommended procedures to protect both their patients and their families. Prior to the onset of the current level of COVID infections, they began controlling the number of patients waiting, and the duration of their wait time to reduce potential exposure to the virus. The staff employs all required safety measures to limit the possibility of exposure. 

Their website contains a wealth of useful information regarding possible infections. “Pediatric Associates is committed to the well-being of all children and to providing the safest environment for patients, employees, physicians, and our community. We are dedicated to providing you with the most informative and accurate information.”  

Do you know what you need to know to protect yourself from the COVID-19 coronavirus? The Pediatric Associates website offers a wealth of information in easy-to-understand language. With some of the more severe symptoms including “fever, cough, and shortness of breath,” the disease, the website reminds us, “some people may have no symptoms at all.”

Spread mainly by person-to-person contact through sneezing, the sick person infects others through the droplets he sprays around. It may take up to fourteen days for an infected person to become sick and you should allow at least twenty-four hours after they no longer show any symptoms. 

The disease can also spread by touching something infected with the virus and then touching your face, eyes, nose, or mouth. The site also offers some commonsense suggestions to avoid infection, including washing hands for at least twenty seconds with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizers. 

There may be many other pediatric practices to choose from in Florida, but there is the only one whose locations provide caring, supportive family-centered services, Pediatric Associates. If your child needs medical attention, Pediatric Associates should be your destination of choice. They are as close as your phone. In the Citrus Park area, call Dr. Gaud at 813-471-4445 and your child will receive compassionate care in our welcoming, nurturing surroundings. We love what we do and are waiting for your call.