PPC Celebrates 25 Years of Medical Care: Local Physician-Owned Practice Reaches MilestoneJul 14, 2021 04:22PM ● By SUSAN BENNETT
Dr. Mary Yankaskas remembers the day when several local physicians had a discussion about possibly working together as one practice. “We were covering for each other on weekends and holidays at the hospitals anyway, so it seemed like a logical next step. Why not merge?” she recalls.
Those discussions evolved into an agreement among five independent practices in 1996 to become one practice known as Physicians' Primary Care of Southwest Florida (PPC).
PPC is celebrating its 25th year as the largest physician-owned and -managed primary-care group in Lee County, with 270 employees and providers, and 10 offices in Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres. Dr. Yankaskas, who retired as a practicing gynecologist three years ago, is managing physician of the entire practice.
“It was a time of change in the national health-care system with the influence of insurance companies and hospital acquisitions. Many well-known local physicians had a desire to remain independent,” she says.
The merger enabled the physicians to remain independent while also providing the level of patient care they strived for in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics and, at that time, obstetrics and gynecology. (The ob-gyn division of PPC separated to become Premier Women’s Care of Southwest Florida in 2019.)
“Let our family take care of your family” is more than a promotional slogan for PPC.
“Our decisions affect us and our patients personally, so we take our time with our decisions. When you have nonphysician-owned groups, they may make decisions based on business knowledge rather than clinical knowledge,” Yankaskas explains.
The family atmosphere at PPC is one of the reasons that employee retention is high. Twelve employees have been with the practice for the entire 25 years.
“My family goes to PPC, my children, my husband, my grandchildren and I’m a patient there too,” says Monica Sebastian, a 25-year LPN in the Cape Coral Family Medicine office. “We are family at PPC. Not only are we family inside the office, but we’re also family outside.”
PPC has expanded its medical offices over the years, focusing on patient convenience and efficiency, as well as expanded diagnostic, laboratory and telehealth services. In-house services include laboratory, X-rays, CT scans, ultrasound, physical therapy and more.
The Washington, DC-based National Committee for Quality Assurance has named PPC a patient-centered medical home. This model of care strengthens the relationship between the patient and primary-care physician.
The practice has been recognized year after year for having some of the area’s top doctors, as reported by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., an independent research and information company that is the nation’s leading provider of information on top physicians.
PPC also won three national awards last year from the American Medical Association and the American Heart Association for improving patient health in cholesterol management, controlling blood pressure and management of type II diabetes.
“Our plan for the future is to grow and expand, while maintaining quality patient care and maintaining our culture of letting our family take care of your family,” Yankaskas says.
Susan Bennett, APR, CPRC, is the owner of Susan Bennett Marketing & Media, L.C., and is a frequent contributor to TOTI Media.