By Marcy Sanford
Trinity Family Physicians opened its door at its current location in April of 2008, but husband and wife team Dr. Stephanie Eldridge and Dr. Amir Shirmohammad began seeing patients in Trinity the year before in September. “We started in a temporary location,” says Dr. Shirmo, as his patients like to call him, “and our new offices opened the day after our second daughter was born.”
As Dr. Eldridge and Dr. Shirmo look forward to the next 10 years of serving people in the Trinity community, they took some time to look back on the top 10 highlights from their first 10 years.
- Being Able to Give Back to the Community – Trinity Family Physicians has given hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations and time to local charities. From the time they chaired the Hike for Hospice event to help less fortunate people have access to hospice care to their work with the Pasco County Special Olympics, Dr. Eldridge and Dr. Shirmo love helping those in need and are humbled that they are in a position to do so.
- Learning through Life Experiences – “As we’ve grown older, we’ve started to have many of the same life events as our patients. Having a parent who is ill or having a newborn baby makes you appreciate the point of view of your patients even more,” said Dr. Shirmo. “We’ve been through our own family hardships and it reminds us of what it is like to be on the other side as a family member of a patient.”
- Staying up-to-date on Technology – “We like to combine old-fashioned medicine with the technology of today,” said Dr. Eldridge. “Advances in technology have allowed us to continue to improve our patient care and give patients more accessibility and different ways to communicate with us. We always strive to use technology in a way that improves care but does not replace personal interactions.”
- Getting to Know Patients – Eldridge and Dr. Shirmo say one of the best parts of being a doctor is getting to know their patients and their families. They really take the time to listen and pride themselves on knowing about what is going on not just with their patients’ health but also in their lives.
- Expanding their Practice Beyond their Office Walls – Eldridge and Dr. Shirmo know that sometimes it can be difficult, maybe even impossible, for elderly patients to come into the office and so they have begun visiting patients at assisted living and rehab facilities as well as nursing homes. “It allows our patients to continue to be part of our practice and stay where they are most comfortable,” says Dr. Shirmo.
- Teaching the Next Generation of Doctors – Both doctors say they enjoy sharing their passion for medicine with the medical students at Florida State and University of South Florida Medical Schools, where they hold faculty positions. They believe one of the most important things they can teach students in addition to the science and skills needed to be a good doctor is the importance of listening. “We tell them that it is not just about listening to the heart and lungs,” says Dr. Eldridge, “you have to really listen to what your patient has to say.”
- Meeting and Exceeding Goals – “We broke every goal we had set for our practice in our first year,” said Dr. Shirmo. “At first we were not sure how but then we realized it was because we were giving old fashioned care and doing the right things for our patients. We have many specialists who refer their patients to us and we have patients who could go to any doctor they want to go to, but choose us. It is a huge compliment and very humbling.”
- Starting A Charity – “We always thought there were so many great causes and so many people in the community doing good for others that we wanted to create an avenue for people to nominate those who were doing good,” said Dr. Eldridge. And thus the Trinity Family Physicians Tampa Bay Making A Difference Award was born. With the award, the doctors have honored teenagers and adults in the community who are making a difference by providing activity bags to children in the hospital, helping unemployed people better market themselves and find new jobs and collecting and donating items to people in need.
- Being Chosen as the Team Doctor for Jesuit High School – “It was wonderful, a big honor to be trusted as the team doctor for my alma mater,” said Dr. Shirmo. “To know you are on the sideline making a difference is very touching.”
- Having A Wonderful Staff – “It was a hard decision to bring on a nurse practitioner because we are very protective of our patients and wanted to make sure we found someone who cares as much as we do. We absolutely have that with Kyle, our Nurse Practitioner, who has been with us for almost 6 years. The patients love her and she has been an excellent addition to our practice. Angie, our office manager, has been with us for 7 years and thanks to her skills, along with her wonderful supporting staff and all of their attention to details they have saved lives just like us.”
- Celebrating 26 Years Together and 3 Amazing Daughters – it’s hard to stop at a Top 10 when you’ve got so much to celebrate. High school sweethearts, the doctors’ affection for each other is apparent and spills over to their patients – making each and everyone feel like part of the family, fitting their motto perfectly to “Let Our Family Care for Yours.” Trinity Family Physicians is currently accepting patients age 8 to 108. They are located at the corner of Trinity Blvd. and Duck Slough Blvd. at 1817 Cypress Brook Dr., Suite 101 in Trinity. Hours are Mon. – Fri., 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, call (727) 834-8377 or visit their Facebook page or website at trinityfamilyphysicians.com.