BOND expansion making it bigger, broader
BY CATHY PALMER
New campus planned is first expansion in 20 years
For seven decades, the brainchild of a Winter Haven doctor has served that city. And like Topsy, it just grew and grew. Back then, Dr. Benjamin Bond wanted to give Winter Haven one stop shopping for all medical care.
Started in 1948 by Bond and three other doctors, Bond Clinic today is the practice home of 47 doc- tors and 26 nurse practitioners with 26 medical specialties. The Clinic is spread across nine separate campuses, most of which are within the city of Winter Haven.
And while its present home campus on Central Avenue is big and broad, the clinic itself is getting even bigger and broader.
In October, city officials joined Bond Clinic board president and CEO Dr. Panagiotis Iakovidis in breaking ground on the clinic’s ninth campus location, a joint venture with Six/Ten Development on First Street in the heart of the downtown business area.
“This is the largest construction project in the downtown area in about 40 years,” said T. Michael Stavres, Interim Winter Haven city manager. “From our perspective, this expands the medical resources for our residents,” he continued. “We’re always excited to see a Winter Haven business expand to meet a growing need.”
“We are seeing more patients than ever,” Iakovidis said, “And this will allow us to serve the city even better.”
The thoracic surgeon will be relocating his own offices from the Central Avenue location and will be one of the 16 doctors who open their doors in the new location when it is completed late next fall.
“We’re all looking forward to having this extra space to better serve our patients,” he said.
The $8.2 million, 36,000 square foot, three-story building with a modern facade will house offices for many new doctors, some who are moving from their existing locations and will almost triple the size of the clinic’s Urgent Care Center. The new building is being built where there was once a vacant lot, according to the Bond CEO. The new facility is being built by Everett Whitehead and Son and was designed by WMB Architecture, both of Winter Haven.
While providing the best and widest variety of patient care at all levels is what Bond does on a daily basis, says Iakovidis, it is also part of the business community. As one of the city’s largest employers and a landmark business, Bond Clinic, he continues, is “in business to help our fellow businesses keep their medical care costs down, so what they save can go back to their employees and into the community.”
The new building will house not only the expand- ed urgent care facility on the first floor with pediatrics on the same level, and the remaining two floors will be doctors’ office spaces.
“We are seeing more than 1,500 patients a day on our existing eight campuses,” said Bond’s Marketing Director Ashley Scanlan.
“We are seeing an influx of new physicians and Nurse Practitioners and need someplace for them to practice,” he said. “It’s as simple as that.” Iakovidis added in addition to the 16 new doc- tors and practitioners heading into the new clinic building, there also will be “another 60 to 100 support staff.”
Scanlan added, “this new facility is the first construction project the clinic has undertaken in “about 20 years.”
The Clinic also recently opened a family practice clinic in Davenport which expanded its campus locations to eight. Also recently, the clinic added a neurology and podiatric practice to its Cypress Gardens Boulevard campus.
Iakovidis has been the Bond president and CEO since 2009, he said, after joining the practice in 1996.
A thoracic and vascular surgeon, Dr. Iakovidis, the former Greek national, emigrated to the U.S. when he was 19 and attended college at the University of Texas in both Houston and San Antonio, Texas. From there he spent his residency in general surgery also in San Antonio and followed that with a specialty fellowship in Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of West Virginia in Morgantown.