By Deborah Bostock-Kelley
Wednesday, September 1, was an ordinary workday for most people. For Dr. Stephanie Eldridge and Dr. Amir Shirmohammad (Dr. Shirmo), it was an anniversary. It was the celebration of a dream that began 14 years ago and culminated with opening a private practice in Trinity, Florida.
One only needs to hear the excitement and enthusiasm in the husband and wife physicians’ voices when they talk about their practice to know just how much they adore their patients, staff, and especially what they do for a living.
“Let Our Family Care for Yours” is the motto of Trinity Family Physicians, and the couple and their staff have been steadfast in their commitment to treating each patient like family since opening in 2007. The practice is proud of its many referrals and has served generations of families from Trinity and beyond.
“It’s been an amazing experience,” said Dr. Shirmo. “We feel very blessed to have the opportunity to serve the Trinity area in particular, but also the Tampa Bay area for as long as we have. That’s been a truly humbling thing for us – to have not only patients come to you but to have them refer their loved ones – their spouses, their children, their parents, their grandparents, their neighbors, their coworkers, and their friends. They put their reputation on the line to refer people to us, and it is so touching to us to be able to take care of multiple generations.”
With patients from elementary school to senior citizens, it’s often like a healthcare version of “Cheers” in the doctor’s office. Before the regulations of the pandemic, sometimes an entire block of neighbors would see each other in the waiting room. Reunions are not limited to Trinity patients; Tampa patients have the same experience.
“It’s so neat. That carries on from the waiting room to the hallway in the back when they run into each other. It’s really fun to see and brings a smile to everyone’s faces when patients who know one another are coincidentally booked on the same day,” Dr. Shirmo said. “That’s the kind of practice we have and how we’ve grown over the years. It’s always so rewarding and touching with these experiences. I think it all comes down to how honored we are that we’ve earned their trust and respect. No matter the location or time of day, they’re willing to block that time out for their own health, but most importantly, trust us to be along that journey with them.”
Long before Covid forced practices to reduce in-office treatment, Trinity Family Physicians was ahead of the curve, allowing their established patients to meet the doctors virtually from the convenience of their home or office. Even a lunch break in the patient’s car or at their child’s sports event was a chance to have a private one-on-one doctor’s appointment without needing to drive to the practice.
The doctors understand their patients have demanding schedules, and not all appointments require an in-office visit. Follow-ups, blood test results, medication follow-ups, diabetes management, follow-up nutrition counseling, and other urgent or non-urgent established patient care can be quickly addressed through their tele-visit system. Patients can easily click on the link supplied in a text message or email and connect with the doctors via laptops, tablets, or smartphones.
The response to the tele-appointments has been overwhelmingly positive. One hundred percent of patients polled that have used the service would use it again. It has allowed patients who were not exceptionally punctual in returning appointments to be more attentive to their personal healthcare.
“Healthcare in this time has changed dramatically. If you look at where we’ve come from to where we are now, with Covid and how care is being delivered now, where people get their information for healthcare, it’s really quite amazing,” he said. “We didn’t miss a beat at all. Our patients continued to get the care they needed without sacrificing any lag in time for treatment because of our telehealth option. Despite everything that they might hear on the news and social media about Covid, the beautiful and consistent thing for us is that our patients continue to trust us and come to us for advice and guidance for themselves and their loved ones.”
Trinity Family Physicians is located at the corner of Trinity Blvd. and Duck Slough Blvd. at 1817 Cypress Brook Dr., Suite 101 in Trinity. Covid questions are asked at the door and check-in. Masks are required.The hours are Mon-Friday 8:00-5:00 p.m. For more information, call (727) 834-8377 or visit their Facebook page or website at www.trinityfamilyphysicians.com.