TMH Announces Affliation with Wolfson Children's Hospital

January 19, 2016

Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) and Wolfson Children’s Hospital proudly announce a new relationship designed to enhance and expand specialized pediatric health care in the Tallahassee area, including Florida’s Big Bend region, Southwest Georgia and Southeastern Alabama. 

Effective today, this affiliation formalizes the long-standing relationship between TMH and Wolfson Children’s Hospital, and allows more children in the region to receive a broader range of high-quality pediatric care close to home. These organizations have worked together for many years to ensure children in the area have access to the inpatient services of Wolfson Children’s Hospital, including heart, brain and spine, and orthopedic medical and surgical services.

This new affiliation agreement will give children in the area more access to the pediatric outpatient specialty services of Wolfson Children’s Hospital with the establishment of a Wolfson Children’s Specialty Center in Tallahassee. The outpatient Specialty Center will begin with the expansion of pediatric cardiology care in the current Tallahassee Primary Care Associates (TPCA) office of Louis B. St. Petery, Jr., MD. Dr. St. Petery is a member of the Tallahassee Memorial medical staff and a long-time pediatric cardiologist with Tallahassee Primary Care Associates (TPCA). TPCA includes pediatricians, family practice providers and physician specialists serving local children and their families. He will be joined in the near future by a new Wolfson Children’s Hospital pediatric cardiologist.

“Wolfson Children’s Hospital is a recognized national leader in providing quality specialized pediatric care. Under the leadership of our local pediatricians, Tallahassee Memorial has for years been the Big Bend’s leader in providing specialized pediatric care,” explained Mark O’Bryant, President & CEO of Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare. “Now through this affiliation with Wolfson Children’s Hospital, we can together bring new expertise to our region and keep many more children close to home to receive their care.”

“To bring much-needed pediatric outpatient specialty care to children, closer to their homes, Wolfson Children’s Hospital has significantly expanded our reach outside of our traditional five-county area that surrounds our Jacksonville-based main facility,” said Michael Aubin, President of Wolfson Children’s Hospital. “For the past three years, we have partnered with like-minded, mission-driven organizations that, like Wolfson Children’s, are committed to enhancing access to pediatric care for area children and families. With this affiliation agreement with Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare and Tallahassee Primary Care Associates, our fifth Wolfson Children’s Specialty Center will bring pediatric specialists to the region based on identified community needs.”

Other Wolfson Children’s Specialty Centers are located in Lake City, Florida; Daytona Beach, Florida; Fleming Island, Florida; and Brunswick, Georgia.

“At Tallahassee Memorial, we are proud to offer many pediatric sub-specialty services, including the only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in the area,” said Dean Watson, MD, VP & Chief Medical Officer of Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare. “Our new affiliation with Wolfson Children’s Hospital grants us the ability to further identify and develop services currently unavailable locally. Overall, this will allow us to better service the pediatric population in our community."

The TPCA office of Dr. St. Petery will be the initial site of Wolfson Children's Specialty Center until a new specialty center is built on the campus of Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare. In the new building, expected to open in 2018, it is anticipated that an expanded range of pediatric services will include pediatric rehabilitation, cardiology and additional specialties.

Today, it was also announced that Dr. St. Petery will serve as consultant to the new Wolfson Children's Specialty Center in Tallahassee. He also will consult on expansion for Wolfson Children's Hospital Outreach in Tallahassee, and serve as medical director of Pediatric Cardiovascular Care in this new agreement.

”Thanks to Dr. St. Petery, Tallahassee families and children have benefitted from access to pediatric cardiology for literally decades.  That is exceptionally unusual in a market our size.  With this affiliation we are ensuring that not only will pediatric cardiology remain a cornerstone of care that is available right within our community, but that we have access also to other much needed pediatric services.  Tallahassee Primary Care Associates is honored to be a participant with this agreement and the plans that are soon to be placed into action.”  Tom Harrison, Chief Executive Officer, TPCA.

The agreement helps to ensure that children in the area have access to the care they need close to home, when possible, rather than traveling long distances for the same level of outpatient specialty services.