Dr. Pass Listens, Helps Patients Focus on Good Health
Rebuilding Practice with DaVita Medical Group
Last updated 7/11/2019 at 2:25pm
At age 32, Dr Carolyn Pass had the scare of her life. The hard-working physician was hospitalized with congestive heart failure and found herself wondering if she would live to see her three children grow up.
After a lengthy recuperation period she got back into practicing medicine but with a greater appreciation for life and helping her patients focus on their own good health.
Now 20 years after her own health scare Pass says she tells her patients: "You matter. You have to take care of yourself. As women I find we often put ourselves to the side. We're the last thing to be taken care of when actually if you take care of yourself first you are better equipped to take care of everyone else."
With her three children in college Pass embarked on a new health care practice in mid-April when she joined the DaVita Medical Group. As the only doctor at their Lake Wales office Pass is rebuilding her internal medical practice, taking care of adults, most age 21 and older. She previously had her own practice a few blocks east on SR 60 and then worked for the Lake Wales Medical Center.
"What I love about DaVita is it really lives up to that it wants to give good care that is affordable to patients, that makes sense financially for everyone," Pass said, noting the priority is: "How can we all come forward in this crazy American health care system but come out on the right side, where the patient feels taken care of, not cheated or skimped? The doctor can be happy and the healthcare system in general is improved and they really live up to that. They mean what they say. You know a lot of companies say one thing but do another."
Pass said she still loves Lake Wales Medical Center and serves as its chairman of the Department of Medicine, but she's really enjoying her new venture. Optum Health, which is affiliated with United Health Care, is in the process of purchasing DaVita, but Pass said she still expects their strong focus on quality patient care will continue.
Pass is a relationship-oriented physician who likes to sit back and listen to her patients: "I like to have a rapport with my patients. I like to connect so that we can get them the best possible outcome. I feel like when people are involved in their health care they do better."
She acknowledges some people just look to her for advice: "There's some people who tell me, 'Doc, I trust you, you make the decision.' "
The DaVita office at 1143 SR 60 East welcomes new patients and offers same day appointments for urgent care, 24-hour on call provider availability, on-site diagnostic testing, pulmonary function and cardiac tests, annual physicals and vaccines. Pass likes to share knowledge, so she offers patient education for congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes. The office has Spanish speaking staff and has self-pay options for those without insurance.
Pass earned her bachelor's degree in microbiology and cell science at the University of Florida and her medical degree at University of Miami School of Medicine. She did her residency at George Washington in DC, prior to returning to Polk County in 1997 to work at Bond Clinic. Pass is part of the local Howell family of well-known educators and medical professionals, who had a community park named for the family last year. Her aunt is City Commissioner Terrye Howell and her mother, Ivadene, has worked in nursing and various other roles at Lake Wales Medical Center for more than 40 years.
Coming back home to Lake Wales, where she graduated from high school in 1984, has been a great experience, Pass said, noting people in Washington, DC and Maryland are very different than those in her hometown.
"I'm so joyful that I went to Lake Wales High School and I know the people here. This is the place I've been treated the absolute best," Pass said. "Here people really appreciate what you do for them."