AdventHealth Lake Wales Celebrates Ribbon Cutting
by James Coulter
Amber Shepherd was born and raised in Lake Wales. After attending the University of South Florida, she would travel out of state to attend medical school and receive medical training.
She has since returned to her hometown and has brought along her experience. She plans on utilizing it through her position in family practice at the new AdventHealth Lake Wales.
“I have done a little bit of everything, and that is why I still love family practice and want to bring all of that back home.” she said. “Come see me if you need a new doctor or a second opinion.”
Shepherd was one of three physicians who helped commemorate the new management of the former Lake Wales Medical Center under AdventHealth. They and other community leaders and members celebrated the occasion with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday morning, hosted by the Lake Wales Chamber of Commerce.
The 160-bed Lake Wales Medical Center in Lake Wales, along with the 193-bed Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center in Davenport, were both acquired earlier this May by AdventHealth, faith-based, non-profit health system, as reported by The Ledger.
With 48 hospital campuses and 1,000 care locations in nine states, AdventHealth has more than 80,000 employees and 5,000 “medical minds”, according to a press release. The non-profit health system dedicates itself to faith-based principles, which, according to its mission statement, helps in “extending the healing ministry of Christ.”
“We are excited about the opportunity to offer our unique promise of whole-person care to these communities and look forward to extending our mission to the team members, physicians, patients and residents of Polk County and the surrounding area,” said Terry Shaw, AdventHealth President and CEO, through a press release.
Dr. Rodolfo S. Fernandez, Internal Medicine Practitioner, is another doctor who will be lending his expertise through AdventHealth’s new management. With more than 20 years of practice in at least three different states, he brings with him the experience to help better serve the local community, he said.
“All of that background that I have, I can better serve the community the way I was trained, and I am so happy that I am part of Advent Health and Lake Wales,” he said.
Dr. James Pilkington, yet another Lake Wales local, will also be using his expertise to help treat the local community as a urologist, with plans to help patients of all ages and backgrounds.
“[I am] happy to be part of a community that shaped me into who I am today, so I look forward to serving everyone,” he said.
Mayor Eugene Fultz, as always, expressed his gratitude of another business venture setting roots within his fair city. He especially expressed his enthusiasm for AdventHealth not only helping meet local healthcare needs, but also doing so with the assistance of dedicated locals.
“As I look around and see and hear the different voices in here, I see youth. I see young people who have gone out and made their mark and they are coming back here to serve this community,” he said. “You all have touched my heart by coming in and showing what you are made of by coming back home and serving the people in the city of Lake Wales…Thank you for choosing Lake Wales as your home and as the area you will practice in.”
AdventHealth Lake Wales is located at 410 11th St, Lake Wales, FL 33853. For more information, visit their website at: https://www.adventhealth.com/hospital/adventhealth-lake-wales