Florida Keys Business
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Caring for Key West
Longtime medical practice has new faces and expanded hours

From sprained ankles to strep throats; and diabetes to drug tests, New Truman Medical Center is "a one-stop shop" for primary and urgent medical care in the Lower Keys.

"We are absolutely an alternative to the emergency room, and we're substantially less expensive," said Dr. Elias Gerth, a founding partner of New Truman Medical who has been treating patients from Key West to Marathon for more than two decades.

"I've treated four generations of family members in this community," he said, adding that his oldest patient is 103. "We've really tried to craft our medical health care services for our community."

The practice has two locations, one at 540 Truman Ave., which recently expanded its hours to seven days a week, and 2505 Flagler Ave.

With four doctors -- Gerth, Dr. Gilbert Shapiro, Dr. Timothy Mackey, Dr. Siddiq Khan and Registered Nurse Practitioner Stephanie Gallaher -- the center offers primary care, or family practice, medical care, as well as urgent care on a walk-in basis for locals, snowbirds and tourists.

Whether a skateboarder breaks his wrist, a fisherman hooks himself or a 9-year-old develops a high fever on a Saturday morning, New Truman Medical is equipped to diagnose and treat a huge array of situations.

"We do our own x-rays, ultrasounds, lab tests, you name it," Gerth said. "Many, many people can come to us and be taken care of without having to go to the emergency room."

In their capacity as primary care physicians, the doctors see their traditional, long-term patients on a yearly or monthly basis as needed while also meeting new patients every week when an acute situation arises.

The doctors also make housecalls for many of their elderly or infirm, homebound patients.

"We're the only urgent care center that's downtown, we're multi-lingual and our nurse practitioner Stephanie is highly skilled with women's health issues and children," said Gerth.

Khan speaks five languages, while most of the other doctors speak at least two languages, said office manager and nurse Deena Richardson.

"We can always find a doctor who speaks their language, or we'll have translators, but we're really well-equipped when it comes to being multi-lingual."

The center also provides sports physicals for school athletics, Coast Guard physicals and drug tests for boat captains, and annual physicals for commercial drivers.

"We have the only DOT-certified physicians in the Keys to do the physicals required by the Department of Transportation," Mackey said Thursday from the Truman Avenue office, where two patients chatted amiably in the waiting room and nurses addressed everyone with a friendly, first-name greeting.

The practice accepts most insurance plans and is available online at newtrumanmedical.com.

mmiles@keysnews.com

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