March/April 2002

The Doctor Is In

Everyone hopes to stay healthy on vacation and the islands’ superb climate does its part in helping visitors and residents stay in tip-top shape. But if illness strikes, or if accidents such as a jellyfish sting or pulled muscle occur, there are several physicians and chiropractors with offices on Sanibel or just off the island who can help.
    Of course in emergencies, dialing 911 summons island police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians. Depending on the situation and the time of year, ambulances and/or helicopters are used to transport people to the nearest available emergency unit. HealthPark Medical Center, at Bass Road off Summerlin Road, has the closest emergency room to the islands. HealthPark Medical Center of the Lee Memorial Health System, 9918 HealthPark Circle, Ft. Myers; emergency services, 941/432-3334, main operator, 941/433-7799;
    On Sanibel, Lee Memorial Health System runs HealthPark of the Islands, a walk-in clinic in the back section of the Bank of the Islands, at the corner of Periwinkle Way and Casa Ybel Road. Lee Memorial Health System, which opened more than 80 years ago, is the largest community-owned health care system in Lee County. For the past year and a half, the island clinic has been staffed by family practitioners Edward P. LaMotta, M.D., who practiced for many years in Minnesota, and Rose Pothen, M.D. It is open Monday through Friday, and Saturday mornings, throughout the year. Most insurance plans are accepted. HealthPark of the Islands, Edward P. LaMotta, M.D., and Rose Pothen, M.D., 1699 Periwinkle Way, 941/395-1414,
    Just across Casa Ybel Road, under the big pink awning, is Sanibel Medical Clinic P L, run by Bill R. Fulk, M.D. His name is familiar to many islanders because Fulk worked at HealthPark of the Islands until opening his own practice about 18 months ago. The office is open Monday through Saturday (mornings only on Wednesdays and Saturdays). Medicare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna, and a few other insurance plans can be used. Sanibel Medical Clinic P L, Bill R. Fulk, M.D., 1715 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, 941/395-2005.
    At the above location, podiatrist Curtis W. Skupny, D.P.M., has a branch office of his Ft. Myers-based Foot and Ankle Care of the Island Coast P A. He specializes in “stingray injuries, trauma, and diseases of the foot and ankle.” Foot and Ankle Care of the Island Coast P A, Curtis W. Skupny, D.P.M., 1715 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, 941/472-1300, or 13761 McGregor Blvd., Ft. Myers, 941/482-7100 or 941/995-3338.
    General practitioner Jean W. Gentry, M.D., who has had her office on Sanibel for 26 years, is well known to islanders young and old. She takes new patients, but does not accept insurance or credit cards. A receipt is provided for patients to file insurance on their own. Her office is open Monday through Friday except Thursday afternoons and is located near Nave Plumbing and the Bean of Sanibel. Jean W. Gentry, M.D., 2250 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, 941/472-4188.
    San-Cap Medical Center is easy to find on Sanibel-Captiva Road because of its distinctive seahorse mailbox. That’s where P. Denis Kuehner, D.O., specializes in family practice and osteopathic manipulation. He’s been in practice for 36 years and arrived on Sanibel two-and-a-half years ago from Pennsylvania. His office is equipped for complete lab work-ups, X-rays, minor surgeries, and suturing. It is open Monday through Friday, and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon (closed Wednesday afternoons during summer). Medicare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida, VISA and MasterCard are accepted. After-hours and weekend emergency service are available. San-Cap Medical Center, P. Denis Kuehner, D.O., 4301 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel, 941/472-0700.
    Phillip G. Davis, M.D., an internist with a background in emergency medicine, practiced on Sanibel for a few years during the mid- and late 1990s. He then opened a practice on Ft. Myers Beach but has since relocated in Ft. Myers close to all the islands. Davis is in practice with Michael E. Lowrey, M.D., and their office is at Albertson’s Plaza on the corner of Summerlin Road and San Carlos Boulevard. It is open Monday through Friday, and Saturday mornings during season. Most insurance plans are accepted. Medical Office of Phillip G. Davis, M.D., and Michael E. Lowrey, M.D., 16970 San Carlos Blvd., Suite 7, Albertson’s Plaza, Ft. Myers, 941/765-0000.
    Longtime Sanibel chiropractor Robert H. Fisher, D.C., of the Island Chiropractic Center, is so busy that he “very seldom takes new patients.” When he does, it is by appointment only. Medicare is the only insurance plan that the office will file for patients. Robert H. Fisher, D.C., Island Chiropractic Center, 2400 Palm Ridge Road, Sanibel, 941/472-6032.
    At the same location, however, chiropractor Linda Stevens, D.C., has a branch office of Ft. Myers-based Stevens Family Chiropractic. She sees patients daily at the Sanibel location, by appointment. Linda Stevens, D.C., Stevens Family Chiropractic, 2400 Palm Ridge Road, Sanibel, 941/472-9830 or 12951 Metro Parkway, Ft. Myers, 941/561-0993 or 941/489-4100.
    Under the big pink awning across from Jerry’s Supermarket is Sanibel Chiropractic and Sanibel Spine Center. Patients do not have to make appointments to see chiropractors Michael Tolisano, D.C., and Daren Fitzpatrick, D.C. Office hours are Monday through Friday, and on Saturday mornings. Their practice is a Blue Cross/Blue Shield provider and takes credit cards. Tolisano, who lives on Sanibel, is able to take patients on an emergency basis. Sanibel Chiropractic and Sanibel Spine Center, Michael Tolisano, D.C., and Daren Fitzpatrick, D.C., 1717 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, 941/472-0900 or 941/472-1824.
– Libby Grimm