wellington wellington | health | spa
Getting To Know Patients Is A Key Goal At Bella Vida Family Practice Story by Deborah Welky • Photo by Abner Pedraza
You’re sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. You’ve filled out your forms. You don’t feel well, and you want to know why. But once those magical doors open and you’re ushered inside, do you still feel like a nondescript number? Not at Bella Vida Family Practice. “Asking questions as if you’re running down a list of bullet points is not getting to know a patient,” Dr. Carmen Marrero explained. “With us, it’s not: ‘Are you married? Do you have children?’ It’s ‘Are you married? Oh, what does your husband do? You have children? I have a four-year-old; we have something in common.’ Here, we incorporate real life and our own life experiences into our talks with patients.” It’s not that Marrero craves conversation that caused her to structure her practice this way. “One of my passions is education,” she explained. “I do rotations with medical students, and I tell them that a person who knows and understands what is going on in their body holds the key to getting healthier. Yes, it is important to control your sugars, but why?” Bella Vida Family Practice also has replaced “pamphlets all over the place” with current technology. There’s an interactive tablet and TV screen in the waiting area that allows patients to pick and choose what they want to learn about while they wait for their appointment. “They can get information on personal fitness, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes — whatever interests them,” Marrero said. “Sometimes what they’ve watched sparks questions. A diabetic may say, ‘Hmm. I need to get my feet checked. Can you recommend a podiatrist?’” There is also an online patient portal for those who are proactive about their healthcare. Patients can update their history, change their address or insurance information, view lab results or send the doctor messages. Marrero co-owns Bella Vida Family Practice with Elaine Fredrickson, a nurse practitioner with 25 years’ experience. Fredrickson worked in a rural setting in North Dakota before moving to the Wellington area in 2001. The two met during residency training at Wellington Regional Medical Center and opened their family practice last August. “All the stars aligned,” Marrero said. “We wanted to treat patients like people — talk to them, spend time with them, get to know about their aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters. Nurse practitioners can function independently, but sometimes we do cross-treat, and patients get two brains for the price of one. We complement each other well. When opening the
(L-R) Dr. Carmen Marrero and nurse practitioner Elaine Fredrickson of Bella Vida Family Practice.
practice, we decided to go 50-50 all the way except for one thing. I told Elaine that I wanted to name the practice. Cowgirl that she is, she was skeptical.” Marrero chose a name that meant something very special to her. “Isabella is the name of my daughter, who was born at Wellington Regional; and ‘Bella Vida’ means ‘beautiful life.’ Elaine liked it. Our main goal is to help our patients to live their beautiful life. Everybody’s beautiful life is a little bit different. They each have their own unique challenges, medical issues and things that they have to overcome. Not everyone’s life is perfect but, at Bella Vida, we help them achieve the level of health and wellness that’s appropriate for their life.” Bella Vida Family Practice is located at 11327 Okeechobee Blvd. in Royal Palm Beach. Learn more at www.bellavidafamilypractice. com or by calling (561) 340-1615. wellington the magazine | march 2017
Published on Feb 25, 2017
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