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Lee Health opens new facility at Babcock Ranch

By Staff | Dec 12, 2018

For the new community of Babcock Ranch, it represents an important milestone in its development.

For people who live in Alva, East Fort Myers and easternmost North Fort Myers, it’s a place they can go for health care without having to travel very far.

On Thurs-day, residents of Babcock Ranch and the surrounding communities were invited for an open house, ribbon-cutting and tour of the new Healthy Life Center and Lee Physician Group Clinic at Babcock Ranch in the town center.

LPG’s family health clinic will provide a place for residents of Babcock Ranch and the surrounding Charlotte and Lee County communities to make routine doctor appointments and receive primary care.

It will also provide a place for young doctors to gain experience. It will be staffed by Florida State University and Lee Health family residents and faculty, providing for a great teaching environment.

There will also be a telemedicine room, an innovative healthcare option that will give doctors and patients the ability to collaborate on dietary consultation and addition physician support.

Dr. Larry Antonucci, president and CEO of Lee Health, said it was an incredible day and that it represents the continuation of the partnership between Babcock and Lee Health.

“We want to grow with Babcock. We will provide primary care, preventative care, lifestyle medicine, not just for here but the entire region,” Antonucci said. “This region will be able to utilize this as their home. I can see in the future where we put a hospital in this part of the county.”

Dr. Alfred Gitu, program director and associate professor of family medicine, said there will be two physicians and several support staff daily.

“We will provide primary care from children to adult, women’s health issues, anything a primary care physician would do,” Gitu said. “The whole idea is about health for here and surrounding regions.”

The facility will be an extension of the office in Fort Myers, where the residency program is run, with an additional focus on lifestyle medicine.

Syd Kitson, developer of at Babcock Ranch, said this office will help the town build its own identity.

“One of our initiatives has always been health and wellness and it starts with how you design a community, with trails and the outdoors,” Kitson said. “Then to have a partner like Lee Health, which brings in physicians and support you need to be a healthy community. When you come to a town like this. You want to know there are health facilities here.”

Kitson said the Christmas Tree Lighting last week helped make Babcock Ranch a town, but having the doctors there completes the picture.

It was he and Antonucci who cut the ribbon on the facility at an outdoor ceremony before inviting the community in to see what the new facility has to offer.

Babcock Ranch residents will have access to a state-of-the-art Healthy Life Center nearby. The 26,000-square-foot facility, which opened in March, offers an array of health services including a gym, swimming pool, basketball court, rehab services and various classes and seminars on nutrition and exercise.