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New doc soon in the house

David Adlerstein
The Apalachicola Times

The doctor made a house call and soon he will be setting up a practice.

Following a formal housewarming visit earlier this month, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare has announced the opening of the regional healthcare leader’s newest practice, TMH Physician Partners – Primary Care, on Monday, Nov. 30.

David Newton, MD, a family medicine physician with a background in rural medical care, will lead the new outpatient primary care practice. He’ll be overseeing care at both the Apalachicola and Carrabelle clinics of Weems Memorial Hospital, which is expanding its inpatient services for the residents of Franklin County.

Escorting Newton and his family, wife Danielle, and sons Henry and Haynes, through the county were Mark O’Bryant, president and CEO of Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, David Walker, CEO of Weems Memorial Hospital, Noah Lockley, Franklin County commissioner, Doug Creamer, chairman of Weems Memorial board of directors, and Jim Coleman, CEO of Alliant, the management company overseeing Weems.

The outpatient practice will provide a much-needed family physician presence to the community that has been without a fulltime Weems doctor for a while now.

Hospital officials say the new health care arrangement will allow for a continuation of care from hospital visits and follow-up appointments to yearly checkups.

David Newton, MD, and wife Danielle, enjoy banana splits with sons Henry, 5, and Haynes, 3, at the Old Time Soda Fountain in downtown Apalachicola

TMH officials said they recognized this urgent need in the community, and selected a physician who both had a passion for rural medicine and possessed the extensive training and real-world experience needed to fully equip Weems Memorial and the primary care practice starting on day one.

“Our goal at TMH has been to find the right physician, a champion for rural medicine, who would be able to listen to the needs of this community we care so deeply about,” said Mark O’Bryant, president and CEO of Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare. “We want to serve the needs of the Forgotten Coast and ensure they are supported in every way. Dr. Newton is at the forefront of our expansion into this county, and we truly believe he checks every box.”

A paid of Davids - David Newton, M.D. left, and Weems CEO David Walker - relax outside Oyster City Brewing Company.

During his four years providing rural medicine care in Ennis, Montana, Newton served as the ambulance medical director, vice medical director and trauma director at the local hospital. Additionally, he earned the title of chief resident during his time in the Seneca Lakes Rural Family Medicine Residency, further showcasing his dedication and talent in rural medicine, which he will now bring to his home state of Florida.

Officials from both hospitals say Newton’s role serves as a bridge between Franklin County and the high-quality medical services of the largest healthcare provider in the Big Bend region.

“The arrival of Dr. Newton will greatly increase our capacity to care for our neighbors,” said David Walker, Weems interim CEO. “We’re excited to welcome a medical leader who will be not only improving our access and caring for us with his extensive knowledge of rural medicine, but also living amongst the community by making Apalachicola his home.”

 To learn more about the comprehensive primary and inpatient care services offered through TMH Physician Partners in Apalachicola and Carrabelle, please call 697-1118 to reserve an appointment and visit TMH.ORG/FranklinCounty.

TMH is a private, not-for-profit community healthcare system committed to transforming care, advancing health, and improving lives with an ultimate vision to elevate the standards of healthcare practice, quality and innovation in the region. Serving a 17-county area in North Florida and South Georgia, TMH is comprised of a 772-bed acute care hospital, a surgery and adult ICU center, a psychiatric hospital, multiple specialty care centers, three residency programs, 36 affiliated physician practices and, in addition to Weems, has partnerships with Doctors’ Memorial Hospital, Florida State University College of Medicine, UF Health, and Wolfson Children’s Hospital.