Ronald S. Manalo, M.D., opened Florida Family Practice less than a year ago, seeing patients at both his Wesley Chapel office (in the Cypress Glen Professional Center off S.R. 56 near I-75), and in his Tampa office on E. Fletcher Ave.
Dr. Manalo and his family have lived in Wesley Chapel for the last several years. His wife, Dr. Hoka Nyanda, practices with a local dermatology group. They moved here when she began practicing a few years ago, even while he did his residency at the Mercer School of Medicine in Macon, GA. He finished in 2015, then worked as a hospitalist at Navicent Health Hospital in Macon for a year before making the transition to living full-time in Wesley Chapel and opening his private practice here.
“I love Wesley Chapel,” he says. “It’s great. It’s not busy like Tampa. It’s nice and quiet, but has a lot of growth and potential to grow, and I look forward to growing with the community.”
He says opening his practice is the culmination of many years of hard work and planning.
“Since medical school, it’s been my dream to own my own practice,” he says. He received his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from Meharny Medical College in Nashville, TN, in 2010. Prior to that, he earned a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree from Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, GA, in 2001.
Now, Dr. Manalo is a family practice physician who sees people in all life stages, from infant to geriatric.
“As a family doctor, you grow with your patients,” he says. “You get to know them, and they become part of your family, too.”
While many parents choose to take their children to a pediatrician, the whole family can see one doctor at Florida Family Practice. Dr. Manalo says anything a pediatrician can do, he can do, too, but a patient who comes to him as a child doesn’t have to transition to a different doctor when they reach a certain age.
“I recently saw a husband and wife who brought their infant to me,” he says. “They’re a young couple, just starting their family, and it’s just a joy. It is really rewarding to take care of the whole family.”
He says his practice is different than what’s typical in our area these days.
“We’re personal, patient, caring and compassionate,” Dr. Manalo explains. “You’re not here for a certain time slot and then out the door.”
Instead, he adds, “We want to get to know you. When you come to see me, it’s not just about your diabetes or high blood pressure, but you as a whole person. We treat your whole body and we get to know you well.” Dr. Manalo believes that this whole person philosophy, “promotes wellness within.”
He also says that he and his office administrator Dayna Yannello are always building these types of relationships with their patients and creating a different atmosphere in the practice. “As a new practice,” he says, “we have the ability to take time with the patients we see, and to really get to know (them). (We’re) unlike other practices around here.”
Happy, Healthy Patients
José Bernardo and his wife, Lillian Ayala, agree that Florida Family Practice is unique. “When we moved here from Puerto Rico six years ago, we came from a different culture, where it’s more of a family relationship built with you and your kids,” José says. “Our experience here with doctors is that it’s been impersonal, and the feeling that your doctor cares about you just hasn’t been there.”
But, José explains, “Dr. Manalo is completely different from that. He cares. He follows up, emails you, calls you. And, Dayna is amazing. They have been available for us on the weekend, after work hours. We have not been able to find this type of treatment and care from anybody else, and we have tried plenty.”
Dr. Manalo explains it this way: “For me personally, the care and services I provide to my patients is a partnership or a trust. A lot of doctors say, ‘do this, take this,’ and that’s that. I like to have more of an open dialogue. We’re developing a relationship; it’s not one-sided where I’m the boss telling the patient what to do.”
He says his dream to own his own medical practice is rooted in caring for his community. “I’m getting to know communities and families and want to be the best doctor I can be,” he says. “My vision is to streamline medicine. Some people don’t think primary care is necessary. In the future, I hope to combine family practice and urgent care, so that people who come in just for urgent care can get the follow up they need from a family practice doctor.”
In a way, he says, his office already functions similarly to an urgent care facility. “If you need a sick visit, we can accommodate that.”
The practice offers same-day visits, so you don’t have to schedule months in advance, and you can even schedule online, through FLFamilyPractice.com.
Florida Family Practice is currently seeing patients at the Fletcher Ave. office on Mondays and Tuesdays, and in Wesley Chapel on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Saturday and after-hours appointments are sometimes available, if needed.
“I’m here and I’m available,” Dr. Manalo says. “I have a new vision of how a practice should be. You can reach us by phone, email or text, and you won’t have to wait several days to hear back from the doctor. You’ll see it as you get to know us. Community is key.”
Florida Family Practice’s Wesley Chapel office is located at 2412 Cypress Glen Dr., Suite 102, and its Tampa office is at 3450 E. Fletcher Ave., Suite 330. For more information, visit FLFamilyPractice.com, or call (813) 812-4133.